Nuremburg Ice Tigers coach Rob Wilson admits to some nostalgia ahead of his return to Sheffield Steelers this weekend.
The former Steelers D-man’s team lock horns with old pal Paul Thompson in a two-game exhibition weekend. And Wilson believes his team are in for a tough test.
“On a personal note, it’ll be nice to come back and I’ll be reminiscing a lot from my days at Steelers” he said.
“I’ve talked to Thommo quite a bit and the two of us are looking forward to it. We’ve got a couple of young guys so I’m keen to see how they do. The games would be totally different if we were meeting in the Champions Hockey League or something. This is more exhibition stuff, but I know the Steelers will be up for it. It’s about coming to have some fun, but they also know they have to come to play or they won’t have much enjoyment on the ice.
“It’ll be nice to see everyone around the club that I knew. I’ll certainly enjoy it and have a few laughs.”
Wilson was also coach at Newcastle Vipers when they won the play-offs in 2006, beating Steelers in that final.
Since then, he’s gone on to have an impressive coaching CV, winning a championship in Italy. Last season, he was named the German Coach of the Year.
He keeps a close eye on things and believes UK ice hockey is growing.
He added: “I came over for the play-off final when the Steelers played Cardiff and I thought that game was excellent. It was great entertainment and a good level of hockey.
“You try to bring in a good calibre of British players while also maintaining a good level of hockey. It’s a fine balance, especially when you factor in entertainment for the fans an trying to grow the sport. It’s difficult, but the standard is getting better.”
Wilson, 49, added: “I played in the Super League and that was a good standard, but I always think the UK league
never gets the credit it deserves. “People don’t realise how good it is until they’re there and see for themselves. It’s definitely moving in the right direction and for me, it’s only going to keep on growing.”