Rod Sarich on his way back to Sheffield Steelers

Rod Sarich - goodbye and hello
Rod Sarich - goodbye and hello

He may be just a shade under 36 years old - but Rod Sarich is heading back for yet another chapter in the Sheffield Steelers story book.

The champions need injury cover after defenceman Christoffer Bjorklund activated an option in his contract and quit for a higher paid job at a Swedish team.

Rod Sarich

Rod Sarich

And Sarich, who lives on the Steeler doorstep and played for the club in the Champions Hockey League has been offered a role to play when one of the imports is absent.

The former Great Britain player is a fitness fanatic - but nobody will be pretending he is in game shape.

Stepping into the hurly-burly of a end-of-season campaign could be one of the biggest challenges he has ever faced.

With the Challenge Cup Final, league title run-in and Play Offs ahead it is a fascinating time to be back. And, with all the fancy farewells and testimonials we have seen for players who have not been of his quality, over the years, it would be good for Arena fans to get the chance to support a player who joined in 2005.

Sarich could make his league-season debut this weekend, if there are any injuries; he has been training with the squad. Every match now is vital in all competitions, so coach Paul Thompson has had to have persuaded himself that the office-worker can make a contribution that helps the team.

“Roddy may have been a last resort, given the lack of time to find a new recruit” said Thompson. “But he is a great solution, and I am sure will help us if we need him.

“Ideally, perhaps, this weekend would not be the best time for us to play him, there is a lot of work to be done with him. But the players responded with high-fives when they heard he was coming back and that tells you a lot.

“When he is not playing he will be helping us out on the managerial side.”