Sheffield Steelers will be champions predicts team boss after admitting Cardiff Devils were mentally stronger last year

Thommo and Jerry - the Anglo-Swedish partnership of Paul Thompson and Jerry Andersson
Thommo and Jerry - the Anglo-Swedish partnership of Paul Thompson and Jerry Andersson

Steelers’ assistant coach Jerry Andersson believes Steelers will be the nation’s number one club this year - and do a better job against champions Cardiff Devils than they did in the League last season.

Andersson loved his first year in Sheffield and says he’ll never forget the Play Off final win over the Welsh.

But he admits he had expected Steelers to have given Cardiff a “better race” in the League, admitting Devils “were better overall.”

Sheffield were third-placed in the Elite division, with Devils romping to the title by seven points. “My feeling today is that we and Belfast Giants were on the same level but Cardiff were a little stronger” said the Swede.

“Cardiff was little better mentally after they won in our ‘house.’

“We played some very good games in Cardiff where we may have lost but it was 50/50. They were lucky in two or three games.

“But to be honest, they were the stronger team with great balance.

“They had top D men, an OK goalie and four good lines. When we were good enough to keep their forwards out and when we were effective offensively, we were good enough to beat them.”

Interestingly, Andersson believes the CHL competition early in the season had a negative effect on League form - saying it “stressed us a little.”

But looking ahead to the 2017-18 campaign, he said: “Steelers, Devils, Giants and of course Panthers will step up in the league.

“We will be number one, this coming season so which team will coming as two and three I don’t care.”

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