TV blooper broadcasts sweary pep talk from supercharged Sheffield Steeler

It was Jonathan Phillips as most people had never seen him before.

Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 10:51 am

Normally, he is the urbane and relaxed ambassador for club and country.

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Jonathan Phillips inspires his GB team mates. Pic Dean Woolley.

But another side to the team captain was briefly on view just before GB took on Austria, in Finland, on Monday.

An on-ice TV camera at the pre-game scrum caught a supercharged Phillips encouraging his team-mates: "Be f****** brave and let's take it to these c****."

Watchers at home were quick to query the decision to risk broadcasting the pep talk, for fear of such industrial language.

But few were questioning the skipper's commitment and his method of inspiring the GB lads, ahead of their must-win World Championship decider.

Steeler Robert Dowd celebrates against Austria.

One South Wales-based tweeter said: "Fair play...he may be a Sheffield Steeler. But you can't get the Cardiff out of him."

Another hockey fan in Nottingham posted: "Gotta love Jono Phillips, but who thought it would be a good idea to stick a camera in the scrum and leave the audio on!"

You have to give the 39-year-old forward some leeway on a very special night for him...he became GB's most capped player of all time, overtaking one-time Steeler Ashley Tait.

Whatever the actual words of the earthy message, there is no doubt it had the desired effect...but only in in the early stages, sadly.

Jonathan Phillips v Austria.

Goals from Matthew Myers, Steeler Robert Dowd and Cade Neilson had given GB a 3-1 lead, but Austria hit back to effectively boot the Brits out of the top pool, with a 5-3 victory.

GB head coach, Pete Russell, was left to rue the scoreline, which had been enhanced by an Austrian empty-net goal with 44 seconds on the clock.

He said: "I think we did enough to win the game. I thought we were in control most of the time.

"On any other day in this tournament we could have won three games," he said, referring to losses to Austria, Norway and Latvia.

"It's never been like that this before.

"It's tough for the boys and I think overall that's one of the best tournaments we played as a team.

"I know there were a lot of pieces missing but these boys put unbelievable performances in and stuck together as a team.”

Like Phillips' domestic club, GB were left wondering how better they may have fared if their absentees had been available, in GB's case Liam Kirk, Brendan Connolly and Mike Hammond.

At least Phillips will have his history-making appearance to look back on.

GB General Manager, Andy Buxton, congratulated him for his haul of caps.

The player had made his World Championship debut in 2003 and the Finland tournament was his 22nd tournament as a GB player.

He’s been captain since 2012.

"A phenomenal record for an outstanding person and leader of the GB team. Thank you" said Buxton.

Phillips said that reaching the 111 caps level at the Nokia Arena in Tampere was: "What dreams are made of, to be perfectly honest.

"It really doesn't seem that long ago that I first came into the programme. I enjoy playing for my country so much. It really does mean so much to me.

"To be able to play this long for my country is an absolute dream and something I am very, very proud of."