Steeldogs' boss back to welcome returning fans at iceSheffield
Coach Greg Wood promises his Sheffield Steeldogs' team will again be in the hunt for honours after announcing he had re-signed to resume control of the bench.
The iceSheffield club says it is "the first and possibly most important signing for the forthcoming NIHL National Division season."
Wood coached the Dogs to victory in the Spring Cup, in March.
“It was brilliant to be in the role of head coach for the Spring Cup, and being able to keep a core group of players from that to move on with" said Wood.
"We had a great chemistry as a team and it grew and grew with every game we played.
"Everything was top quality about that from the way the team gelled, the standard of players, the way they played out on the ice and everything that was going on in the background to get the games on.
“It was nice to hear the positive comments we were receiving as a club and when everyone buys into what you want to do or how you want to play, it makes it a much easier job.
"The biggest positive that came out of the whole experience was how everyone chipped in together and moved forward as one unit towards a goal.
“I leaned on a lot of the senior guys during the Spring Cup - we were so fortunate to have a room full of experience such as Morgs, Ben O’Connor, Hewy (Jason Hewitt), (Nathan) Salem and even Belly (captain Lewis Bell) and Tim (Smith), these guys really helped to foster a coaching team effort. You need input from your senior players. A coach needs support and those guys delivered."
Wood says following the Spring Cup success will be "tough to replicate that but we will be a better team for that experience."
He said other NIHL team rosters were "showing depth and quality as they build for the new season.
"We will be putting out a very competitive roster ourselves and I think we are in for an entertaining year.
"The most important thing will be having fans back in the building - the players are really looking forward to seeing fans back in their seats, cheering the team on.
"While we knew we had the crowd at home watching online, sometimes you just need the buzz of the crowd to get you over the line and it will be so good to have them back”.
Steeldogs co-owner Roger Williams commented: “Woody was in the assistant (coaching) role through the Streaming Series (November 2020) but his level of effort and attention to detail was impressive and that only increased when he took charge.
"He put in the time with the team but also through the week so that for each of the Spring Cup games, the team were absolutely ready for every challenge. “Greg has clearly rediscovered his love for the game and we are chuffed to have him back masterminding the club for the 21/22 season.
"He shares our values and visions for the club and as we return to ‘normal’, he’s absolutely the right guy to be coaching the Steeldogs”.