Back to the future for Sheffield Steelers

Jonathan Phillips is Sheffield Steelers captain again

Jonathan Phillips is Sheffield Steelers captain again

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Jonathan Phillips - who was removed from the captaincy of Sheffield Steelers under the ill-fated regime of Doug Christiansen - gets the arm-band back today.

Christiansen, who was axed by the club last season, had preferred Steve Goertzen as his skipper.

Goertzen has since moved to Coventry Blaze, who play at iceSheffield on Saturday in the season-opening friendly (300 tickets left.)

Now Steelers’ coach Gerad Adams has re-instated Phillips in his original role, a move predicted by winger Rob Dowd, in The Star, last month.

Phillips who joined Steelers in 2006 took over the captaincy at the end of his first season, from Shawn Maltby.

In six seasons wearing the ‘C’ Phillips led the Steelers to the 2008-09 and 2010-11 league championships as well as the 2007-08 and 2008-09 play offs.

Adams said: “Jono knows what it takes to be successful and has a proven record as a leader. He has excellent communication skills. The relationship between coach and captain is an critical one and Jonno is the kind of leader I can communicate with.”

The Welsh winger said: “It’s a huge honour to be chosen as captain. I know what kind of coach Gerad is and what he expects. He knows what I expect from every player on the team. I want to lead a team that, at the end of the season, rival players say: “They deserved to win trophies, they brought it every night”.

“I thought that about the great Calder, Carlson and Martin Coventry sides. If we’re to win trophies then we have to bring every night. The Steelers’ way since we started winning trophies under David Matsos always has been the same, we will sacrifice personal glory, points or whatever for the good of the team. It’s an old saying but a true one but the team has to come first.”