Vezio lands friendly bonus for Steelers

SHEFFIELD Steelers' new-found Italian connection was extended further today.

The club has completed the signing of ex-Cardiff Devils' star Vezio Sacratini, as The Star suggested yesterday.

And when the Italian Canadian stepped off the plane from Italy in the early hours this morning, Sacritini brought along with him one of his team-mates, Agostino Casale, who will join him in Steelers' uniform this weekend.

Sacratini - without being unkind - is a rink rat...the kind of player that gets under your skin and who fans love to hate - unless he is on their team.

When his side All Stars Piemonte looked like tumbling out of the Play Offs, Sheffield coach Dave Matsos prayed hard that he would become available.

Piemonte lost on Wednesday night and Sacratini, at the age of 40, set off for Sheffield.

Steelers' general manager Mike O'Connor said: "He must have been one of the most hated men at the House of Steel over the years when he played for Cardiff. But Rick Brebant evoked a similar sentiment, and look at how successful he was when he came to Steelers."

Montreal-born Casale is another old timer at 39. The winger has played in Italy, north America and Germany.

"Vezio knows what it takes to succeed in British hockey and has convinced us his pal will fit in here" said O'Connor.