Paul Thompson says Sheffield Steelers’ Elite League trophy win was one of the greatest achievements of his much-decorated career.
“All championships are special but I suppose you could say this was the best one for me because it is the best Elite League there has ever been” he said.
“With Gerad (Adams) winning it last year, there was a lot of pressure coming in, I wanted to replicate the achievement.
“Everybody was looking at me and wondering. But hopefully I showed what I can do. I am proud to have done the job of retaining the title.”
Thompson allowed himself only a brief time to celebrate Steelers’ ninth title victory.
“It feels fabulous. It is a moment to remember for the boys, after all it is them who won it.
“I popped into dressing room and it was thick with cigar smoke so I left them to it.
“Some of them don’t look old enough to buy a cigar let alone smoke one.”
Reflecting on the season as a whole, the coach says: “We have got a good team which works harder than any other in the League. We had to win the last five and we did. The wins against Coventry and Nottingham - who wanted to derail us - came at the right time.”
Steelers play Coventry Blaze, the team that Thompson gave 18 years of his life to, this weekend in the Play Off quarter finals.
“Coventry in the play offs, it is time we flexed our muscles against them and take them head-on” said Thompson. But up until this point, we didn’t care who we got - as long as we won the League title.”