Sheffield Steelers in talks over coach’s contract

Paul Thompson - looking for a second successive title win
Paul Thompson - looking for a second successive title win

Sheffield Steelers are working behind the scenes to tie Paul Thompson to another contract at the club

The former Great Britain boss Paul Thompson was given a two year deal as head coach and general manager in April 2015.

It seems in the club’s interests to re-sign the league-winning coach as quickly as possible, so he can himself start work on securing his top players for next season.

When Thompson first signed, owner Tony Smith said: “I believe that Paul will challenge the rest of us at the club to be better” - the boss wanted his club to match Thompson’s ambitions.

That remains the case now with Steelers constantly looking to extend its business and profile.

Thompson told The Star last night: “I am out of contract in May, the two year deal comes to an end then. Yes, we have started talks and it is important that plans are put in place for the team, generally, to take us forward. It is important to us all that the club continues to grow. “We have discussed things in a positive way and I am happy where the club is now structurally. “

Asked about the re-signing of players, he said: “It is one of the things we are keeping a close eye on.”

Meanwhile Thompson does not appear close to signing a replacement for Jesse Schultz.

“There is a shortage of quality players who would improve us and fit into our wage structure” he said.

“We were looking at one guy who ended up in the Swiss second league on 30,000 Euros until the end of the season.

“But we will only take players we can afford and who would improve us and maybe I wouldn’t have gone for him in the end anyway.

“It’s possible one will fall into our lap when clubs start removing people off their wage bill and shipping them out.”

Steelers host Braehead Clan at iceSheffield tonight, before travelling to League leaders Cardiff Devils on Sunday.

“Braehead is our immediate focus but it’s been hard not to think about Cardiff. We have spoken to the team about parts of the game that both Braehead and Cardiff play. We will have plans in place for both games.”

Last night, second placed Belfast Giants opened up a four point lead over Sheffield, courtesy of beating Nottingham Panthers.

Steelers have three games in hand on them.

RESULTS

Friday 20th January

Elite League

Belfast Giants 5 Nottingham Panthers 4

Braehead Clan 2 Manchester Storm 1

FIXTURES

Saturday 21st January

Elite League

Belfast Giants v Dundee Stars – 7.00pm

Coventry Blaze v Cardiff Devils – 7.00pm

Fife Flyers v Manchester Storm – 7.15pm

Sheffield Steelers v Braehead Clan – 7.00pm @ Ice Sheffield

Sunday 22nd January

Elite League

Cardiff Devils v Sheffield Steelers – 6.00pm

Dundee Stars v Coventry Blaze – 6.30pm

Edinburgh Capitals v Manchester Storm – 6.00pm

Nottingham Panthers v Fife Flyers – 4.00pm

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