Why Sheffield Steelers star chose Sheffield over Sweden

Steeler Davey Phillips turned down a spot on a Swedish team's roster to play for Sheffield Steeldogs.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 11:57 am
Updated Friday, 19th February 2021, 12:22 pm

The Great Britain defenceman was offered a job in the HockeyEttan division with Karlskrona HK but after his recent experiences in Hungary (12 games with Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák) and a change in his domestic circumstances back home in Yorkshire, he decided to try for an NIHL role at iceSheffield.

A position opened up as the arrival of the Covid-secure Spring Cup tournament was confirmed and Phillips made his debut last weekend in double wins over Swindon Wildcats.

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"It was a decent standard, there are a lot of good players on that Steeldogs' team and in that league," said Phillips, a Challenge Cup winner with Steelers last season.

"I thought the game would not be up to full speed with the long lay off, to be honest.

"But it was a real good pace, really.

"It was much more intense than the hockey in Hungary in the Erste Liga. I suppose it's just different styles of hockey.

Davey Phillips

"In Hungary the team was losing and was a bit down in the dumps, but here the British players in this tournament are showing pride in playing each other and are wanting to do well."

Phillips thought last weekend Dogs' wins were comfortable, despite "a few little stretches where we made a few mistakes, but nothing we can't fix. It was really positive, for a first weekend.

"I played with Ben (O'Connor) and it was like we had never been away.

"Ben has been keeping himself fit and active over the lockdown, riding his bike and stuff and when you are as talented as him I don't think you lose it overnight or ever."

Steeldogs sit out the action this weekend - there are five teams in the Spring Cup so one club routinely doesn't play.

This weekend it is the turn of Swindon, Bracknell Bees, Telford Tigers and the Raiders.

"It is a pity there is no game for us but that's just the situation we find ourselves in.

"We'll be ready for the weekend after though when we play Raiders."

Fans of Sheffield hockey are able to watch the tournament via web streams.

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