Wing role for Sheffield Steelers new boy after surgery to John Armstrong

Eric Neiley
Eric Neiley

Sheffield Steelers will give new boy Eric Neiley a wide role at Belfast Giants on Friday night.

The 25-year-old American was brought in after the injury to centreman John Armstrong.

He can play right wing or in the middle.

But after his first skills practice with the EIHL club on Wednesday, coach Paul Thompson decided he will start on the flank, where he will be expected to bring an edge to Steelers offence.

“He comes with a reputation of a gamer - we will see more this weekend, and will start him on the wing” said Thompson.

“He has settled in well.”

Armstrong was due to have surgery on a finger on Tuesday but it was put off a day.

He will miss most the rest of the season.

Neiley, 25, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has a younger brother Kevin plays for Dartmouth College in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, where he himself was forged.

The elder brother was popular at the Ivy League university as every time he scored, the team won - barring one occasion.

At one point, he was the only player in the US to lead his team in goals, assists, points, game-winning goals and penalties

He was fourth top scorer and converted 27 goals last year for Atlanta Gladiators in the ECHL last year, not a bad return on 61 games.

Neiley comes into team enjoying a new found confidence built on six consecutive wins in League and Challenge Cup play.

They are in third place directly behind Belfast, who have a game in hand and are two points better off.

Giants have lost only once in their last eight games in all competitions and move into the weekend series against Sheffield after home wins over Braehead Clan and Edinburgh Capitals.