He’s seen the come and he’s seen them go...but Jonathan Phillips has remained a constant at Sheffield Steelers for nine years.
And his dedication has been rewarded by a confirmation of his captaincy by coach Paul Thompson. His assistants are imports Mathieu Roy, Zack Fitzgerald and Russ Moyer.
Thompson said: “When I took over here in Sheffield I was straight with Jonna, telling him I didn’t know if he would be my captain when the season started. I wanted to look at our group and take my time, it’s an important decision to get right. After just a couple of weeks I knew 100% that he was my captain. He is the manager of that group. He is not a shouter but definitely a do-er.
He is a great link between Darrell Hay, myself and the team. I’m proud to have him as my captain.”
The rest of the Brits have pleased the coach, too.
“All the home grown players here have been outstanding since I arrived. You can tell how much they care for this team. In fact I’d say that this group of Brits is easily the most dedicated, focussed and professional Brit pack I have ever coached.”
As for the assistants, Thompson said: “Mathieu is totally respected by the whole team. Zack puts a smile on everyone’s face every day. And when Russ speaks the whole team listens.
“He speaks and acts with a purpose, a dedicated all around professional.
“I think we have a great leadership group but in saying that I think we have a great leadership team. I’m happy those four are my guys wearing the letters right now leading us in to the new season.”