Sheffield Steelers ‘may attract 9,000 fans’ for Euro games

Paul Thompson and Steelers owner Tony Smith
Paul Thompson and Steelers owner Tony Smith
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Steelers coach Paul Thompson believes the club can attract its biggest attendance in 15 years, for the Champions League games against crack Finnish and Swedish opposition.

His side host JYP Jyvaskyla on Sunday 30th August and Frolunda Gothenburg on Saturday 5th September.

Defenceman Jacob Larsson

Defenceman Jacob Larsson

He said the Sheffield public would “buy into” the European tournament adding: “We’ll probably get 6-7,000 in for the games - maybe more. We hold 9,000, so the teams that will come will enjoy the fantastic state-of-the-art Arena.”

The tournament, launched last season, was in its infancy but presented a “super-tough” challenge to the South Yorkshire club, he says.

Meanwhile Thompson is preparing to renew acquaintances with Frolunda defenceman Jacob Larsson, whom he worked briefly with at Troja-Ljungby in 2013-14.

Recently, his talents were noticed when he was picked by NHL side Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the entry draft.

“You could tell instantly that he was special and destined for big things, being drafted in the first round is just the start for him I’m sure. At just 18 I’m sure they will leave him in Frolunda for another year to aid his development. He is an NHLer of the future and a good one at that.”

*According to steelerstats.co.uk Sheffield averaged 3,975 fans at home last year, the highest attendance being 8,864. The club had a 10,000 gate in season 2000-01.

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