Former Sheffield Steelers assistant coach Darrell Hay has paid a sporting tribute to the man who has taken over his job.
Hay was unhappy the way the champions parted company with him, after two league-winning seasons. Yet he compliment his successor, Jerry Andersson.
Hay recognised “that Mr Andersson has the experience and comes from a good background” in terms of bringing on junior talent. “Obviously compared to his experiences I fall short in that category. He is person you would want as part of your team. It is a good appointment and will help the club develop youth.”
Ironically, Hay is currently involved in U16 development camp in British Columbia, Canada.
On his own future, he said: “My agent has been in contact with teams in the UK and Europe. I am looking to be around the game and continue to learn the craft. I will see what kind of feedback I get first before making a decision.
“The memories I will take are winning the two titles and the people I met in my time in Sheffield. I am disappointed with how it ended but by no means does that take away from the wonderful memories I made and people I met. I was incredibly flattered by the support through Twitter; that’s something I take moving forward. I have gained a lot of knowledge and perspective - experience that I can use going forward on how to do and not do things.”
n Captain Jonathan Phillips believes the club has a strong chance of being the first British side to progress through the round robin stage of the CHL after being paired the Steelers with HV71 and Red Bull Salzburg.
“They are both great clubs but we do have a genuine chance. We know what the competition is all about now having played the toughest of games and schedules last year. We’ve played Salzburg before in the Super Final of the Continental Cup and whilst we were beaten, 6-1, that result doesn’t show what the game was like.”
The winger said: “We weren’t the best of teams that year and we ran into some major penalty issues on the night.
“We have moved on night and day since then, we are a very different club. Better prepared and much more aware of what we have to face.
“We now can match teams with our four blocks. I think these games, especially against Salzburg are a really good test of where we have come to. They are proper games against proper clubs. They won’t take us lightly, we will get their A game for sure.
“I feel we are on the verge of breaking through both at club and National team level. I’m hoping this year, this competition will be that breakthrough. I feel we are good enough to progress.”
Phillips confirmed that for him the summer break was over and he was back in training.
“I was tired after the season had ended. It had been a long year with the Champions League, our own title defence and then the world championships. Ten days after you’ve stopped you want to get going again.
“I’m back in full swing now, so are the other guys as well. This is when the hard work is done, throughout the summer. The work we do now means we can do the things we do in the season because of the May, June and July effort.”