Video: Ryan Martinelli discusses his move to Sheffield Steelers from Elite League rivals Belfast Giants

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Ryan Martinelli has admitted it was a tough decision to leave Belfast Giants for Sheffield Steelers.

The 31-year-old Canadian defenceman had two fine seasons for the Northern Irish before accepting an offer from the South Yorkshire club.

Martinelli made his debut last weekend for his new team and his no-nonsense style was received well by the fans.

Saturday and Sunday night sees him play against Swedish team Timra, in another pre-season series.

Asked about the factors behind coming to Sheffield, he replied: It's a tough question. I have nothing but admiration and respect for all the Belfast Giants and everyone in the organisation.

"They treated me well over my two years.

"I just came to a cross-in-the-roads, I guess you could say. It is what it is. Hockey is a business.

"Sometimes tough decisions have to be made.

"But, again, nothing but respect for the whole Giants' organisation, they are top class top to bottom."

As for Sheffield's side, Martinelli said: "We have got a nice mix over here.

Ryan Martinelli, pleased with the move

Ryan Martinelli, pleased with the move

"We have got some gritty guys, up front, we have got a big, big back end on defence so I like the way Paul Thompson has put together our team so far this year and I like our chances, to be honest.

"I think we have got a good squad, we have got some team-speed, and the guys are coming together with some good team chemistry."

The forwards, he added: "have got a lot of skill to go along with that grittiness.

"We have got a lot of guys that can hit and score so I really like our forwards as well. I think we are going to be good in that department."

Martinelli came along with goalie Jackson Whistle, from last year's Giants' squad.

"I know it has been a long road for him the last two or three years with his hips (injury) and stuff like that but he's battled hard, he's worked really hard."

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