Steelers' goalie will support import rivals ahead of him in pecking order

New Steelers' custodian Angus Laing doesn't expect to become the first Scottish goaltender in the NHL.
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But he is ambitious - and the first step on the ladder to a fulfilling professional career will be proving himself as an able back-up at Sheffield.

Yesterday, Laing was brave enough to reveal his inner faith, an intimate subject not every body in public life feels inclined to share.

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Today the 24-year-old recognised he expects to start down the pecking order at the EIHL club, but is regarding his year-long contract as an incredible opportunity to learn from starting netminder Matt Greenfield and fellow-import Tony Morrone - and other netminders in the Elite division.

Angus LaingAngus Laing
Angus Laing

"They are elite goaltenders and I am coming to learn from them and start my pro career" he said.

"They have had that experience already, for me it is about being an absorber of learning.

"I am going to learn from Greener and the other goalie but also try and compete with them and match them as much as I possibly can and take it from there.

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"It is about grabbing this opportunity with both hands and doing whatever my team needs to make it successful."

Angus Laing at full stretchAngus Laing at full stretch
Angus Laing at full stretch

Laing is aware that by having a UK goalie on the bench, it opens up a playing space for an import.

And with Steelers always willing to consider an extra overseas player who might suddenly pop up on the market - that potentially makes the back-up match-night position even more likely to be a Brit.

"If that's my role, that's my role," said Laing.

"The Elite League is an incredible hockey standard.

"I put a lot of trust in coach (Aaron) Fox to put me into a game when he knows I am ready to compete and ready to help my team to win.

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"He won't be putting me in to keep me happy, I asked him not to do that. I never expect guaranteed game time."

Laing said his playing ambition was to "bring trophies back.

"Also, I want to be the most supportive team mate and the guy people look at, when the boats are burning, to pull them through the fire."

The netminder also paid tribute to former Steelers' defenceman Neil Abel, who helped him in his younger years.

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"I dropped out of school for the Redline Development Academy in Sheffield.

"Neil Abel was coach, he was unbelievable, especially with me and Cole (Shudra.)

"He made sure we were on the right page and instilled good habits into us.

"Being part of that opened up doors for me. I was practising with the Steeldogs at 16 years of age."

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Then-Steelers coach Paul Thompson organised a two-way contract for him to practice with Steelers and play with Sutton Sting. But an opportunity came up to go to America, where he played and studied for five years.

He found some parts of the US college and University programme a "narcisitic and cancerous environment" and is now delighted to be heading back to South Yorkshire.