Sheffield Steelers: Goertzen defers to new boss

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If there is to be a ‘welcome’ party outside Sheffield Arena awaiting the arrival of Gerad Adams as new Steelers’ coach, it is a fair bet Steve Goertzen will be at the front.

The Sheffield captain will be more than happy to hand over the reins of the club after being pressed into service as interim coach following Doug Christiansen’s sacking.

Steven Goertzen - Sheffield Steelers

Steven Goertzen - Sheffield Steelers

The appointment coincided with a nasty concussion injury for the Canadian winger - so he has had a headache in more ways than one.

Speaking on video at thestar.co.uk, following his side’s 3-1 loss to Nottingham Panthers, last Sunday, Goertzen said he would be pleased to be relieved of coaching duties in favour of a full-time occupant.

“It was a difficult situation for everyone. Doug did a great job here and it is unfortunate that he couldn’t stick around” said Goertzen, who said he was slowly recuperating from his head injury.

“I told Tony (Smith, owner) I would do whatever is best for the club on an interim basis.

“It’s different being on the other end of things, but I still get fired up for the game, still passionate.

“We have a lot of older guys, a lot of leaders in the room, so we’ve talked about a few tactical things here. But we will happily open our arms to the new coach and keep moving forward.”

Goertzen does not accept the suggestion that the team has been playing ‘run and gun’ hockey since the end of Christiansen’s more formatted reign.

“Doug did a great job in a particular style, he was a very detailed coach and we benefited a lot from that” he said.

“Now that he has gone the onus is more on the players. Guys have stepped up that previously haven’t stepped up. Maybe it’s been a wake up call for players to step and be a little bit more accountable.”

Goertzen said it was essential the side to get into their stride ahead of the Play Offs, starting on Saturday at Nottingham.