Steelers’ new asst coach believes Rob Dowd would have become a better player if he’d stayed in Europe, rather than ‘Brexit.’
The GB winger had a single season at Troja/Ljungby (2012-13) before committing to Sheffield, where he’s remained for three seasons. Andersson, who worked with Dowd in Sweden, was an admirer of his skills and goal instincts.
Asked if the 28-year-old was a superior player now, than he was in Scandinavia, he replied: “I think he is a better player today, but I think also if he stayed in Sweden one or two more years he should be a little better than he is today. I think he is a player for the SHL, the highest league.”
Andersson admires the notion of a player trying to “take a chance to the highest league” but drew the line at suggesting Dowd had made a mistake.
The GB player came back for family reasons and is now a key part of the Steelers’ attack.
The coach said he is often asked about UK hockey standards “Nobody understands that the UK league today maybe is the most underrated league in Europe” he said. “Last season, I watched Steelers against Frolunda, it was a close game, 4-2, an open net, Steelers were over in Finland and played a good game.
“It is a different style, but it is an upcoming league and the standard is very high.”
Andersson said he’d asked head coach Paul Thompson if he had a gut feeling on how the 2016-17 season side is shaping up.
“He feels very confident.” On a personal front he said he would like to assess the team with an open mind.
Andersson realised he is in for a baptism of fire when the full team arrives for duty, in the steel city. Training camp starts on August 8 and then are two friendly matches against Aalborg (August 13/14) before the side flies out for CHL combat.
“We have to be very productive when we start” he said.
“We have two games before CHL and the league starts here so we have to do the right things every minute, every day.”