Bring back Adams, Abel tells Sheffield Steelers

Neil Abel was pushed to one side when Doug Christiansen took over at Sheffield Steelers.

His position on the bench went to Marc Lefebvre.

Gerad Adams,  Neil Abel (centre)  and Jeff Legue  celebrate Sheffield Steelers 2014 Playoff Final Win

Gerad Adams, Neil Abel (centre) and Jeff Legue celebrate Sheffield Steelers 2014 Playoff Final Win

But owner Tony Smith didn’t want to see him entirely frozen out of his hockey club - and had the foresight to keep him on.

Abel was to become a key figure on the bench when Lefebvre left to take over Coventry Blaze and Christiansen got the boot.

And Gerad Adams retained Abel’s services when he took over the reins - the pair guiding Steelers to last Sunday’s Play Off final win over Belfast.

The former Scottish d-man was in the Sheffield team in 1994 when Cardiff beat them, and he recalled that after Sunday’s match.

“Twenty years ago we were Wembley and Cardiff stuffed us 12-1. So it has been sweet music tonight, winning that” said Abel.

He said the current day outfit was a different proposition now Christiansen had gone,

“‘G’ has come in and he’s let the guys play. And that’s what it’s all about.

“When the other guy was here, they were a bit restricted and he just didn’t let them play to their full capacity.

“Guys can speak to G and put before what they’d like and what they want to do and he listens to them and at the end of the day, he just lets them go out there and play hockey.

“It is very important that G and the nucleus of the side stays.”

Abel didn’t agree with Giants coach Paul Adey’s assessment that the better team lost.

QAfter the second equaliser we were all over them, as G said we are like a light switch we are on and off.

“But (gamewinner) Drew Fata stepped up tonight and won a trophy for us.”