Sheffield Steelers’ mass departure took a surprising turn today when it was announced the club’s assistant coach Jerry Andersson had resigned.
Immediately after the Play Off final last Sunday, the 58-year-old told The Star he planned to ‘return to business’ next season in Sheffield and try to repay the fans with a trophy.
But within a few days the situation had changed with the club published a statement saying he: “wishes to return home to Sweden after three years away from his family (one in Romania and two with the Steelers.)”
The statement quoted Andersson: “I have had two wonderful years in Sheffield with the Steelers. They have been instructive, educational and entertaining. I feel privileged to have been part of this great club and the Steelers will forever have a huge place in my heart.
“I have been away from my family for long enough and as the club starts a rebuilding process feel this is the right time to return home.
“The Steelers are a very special club, surrounded by very special people starting with the owner Tony Smith who I thank for agreeing to bring me here and for allowing me to now return home.
“Paul Thompson is an exceptional head coach who will rebuild the Steelers back to the very top. The players gave us their all and those who will return are good men dedicated to the club.
“Thanks also to the fans who cheered us at home and on the road, seeing you in orange in places like Dundee and Fife on a Wednesday night is inspiring.
“The people of Sheffield have a very special club, they should remember that. It is going in the right direction and success will follow.”
Head coach Paul Thompson said: “We will miss Jerry and his input very much. Jerry is a good hockey man who quietly went about his business working with players and loyally assisting me.
“His experience is invaluable and it’s good to know he will be there on the other end of a phone when advice is needed
“I will miss him greatly and can’t thank him enough.”
Thompson, who had Darrell Hay as assistant coach in the 2015-16 season, will now be looking for a new right hand man.