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Jiri Gula - the new Sheffield Steeler with the name of a Bond villain

Jiri Gula
Jiri Gula

Sheffield Steelers' defensive core has a solid look to it after the signing of resolute blue liner Jiri Gula, from Litinov in his native Czech Republic.

The 15 stone, 6ft 3ins, right-shot has never signed for a team from outside the Republic before.

Gula, aged 28, the team's first non-Canadian import, was a domestic League winner in 2014-2015 who "ticks a lot of boxes," according to Sheffield coach Paul Thompson.

“I needed another right handed shot defenseman to join Davey Phillips and Ryan Martinelli. Now that right hand side of the D core has the great size we were looking for" said Thompson.

“Jiri is an experienced player with the quality you would expect playing where he has in the recent past.

"We aren’t bringing him here to be offensive, he is here to bring size and presence to the back end.

High praise from Marek Pinc

High praise from Marek Pinc

“I like the physical aspect to his game, it’s an added ingredient we were keen to bring in."

Former Steelers goalie Marek Pinc delivered a glowing reference on Gula.

“Yes, Pincy gave us the thumbs up when we mentioned Jiri to him” continued Thompson.

“He has seen him play many times and commented especially on a cannon of a shot he possesses. It is nice when you have someone you can trust on hand and Marek gave us some excellent feedback.”

Gula has played for the Czech National U18 and U20 side.