SHEFFIELD STEELERS: Long-serving Rod Sarich relishes pre-season grind

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SHEFFIELD Steelers ace Rod Sarich welcomes the stress and strain pre-season training brings.

The popular defenceman, entering his eighth season with the club, has been training on the ice with his new teammates for the first time at the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena this week.

He said: “I look forward to pre-season more and more. I get excited about the prospects of another year.

“As you get older, you appreciate the sport more not less.

“I know I’m not going to like what comes when pre-season and hockey isn’t a part of my life.”

Ryan Finnerty’s troops host Coventry Blaze in an exhibition match on Saturday and Sarich feels Steelers are capable of challenging for honours.

“This summer has been stable for us; we have had no turmoil so hopefully this is the start of things to come,” he said.

“On the ice we have lots to look forward to. The team assembled looks great on paper. A lot of experience and quality. The depth is huge for us. In seasons gone by, when injuries came knocking, it hurt us. Right now we have the depth to cope.

“I can’t stress enough how having six D-Men will help us through the year. Playing with the same partner game in game out rather than the rotation of a five man system is just one point that helps, knowing your partner and how he will react in situations helps you make your own decisions out there.

“Every game this year will be a battle especially against teams in our own conference. If you are not ready every night, your in trouble. There are no easy games, no gimmies but that’s good for the fans and the league.”