Mark Matheson concentrates on delivering a win for Sheffield Steelers – but will he become full time head coach?

Mark Matheson and Steelers
Mark Matheson and Steelers

Mark Matheson may throw his hat in the ring to become head coach for the rest of Sheffield Steelers' season.

The team’ s player-assistant coach was asked to pick up the reins after Paul Thompson quit, this week.

As the ownership sifts through outside applications for the role, Matheson is concentrating on getting a win against Glasgow Clan on Saturday - but he is not ruling out a longer-term commitment to the job.

The Canadian said the entire Steelers playing staff went through a sense of loss when Thompson resigned. "I was surprised and initially didn't know how to react. I felt bad for him, it was definitely not something any of us wanted to happen. As a human being, I hope it is the best thing for him and his family.

"It had become pretty volatile and those close to him had seen the stress affect him. In some ways he had to go through that by himself. I was gutted when he went” Matheson told The Star.

"There is a feeling of loss when big changes happen in your life, in general, not just sport. But we are professionals, we've had to get used to change before, and now we have to move on, we can't let it drag on."

Mark Matheson

Mark Matheson

Matheson said the players bore the blame for poor results, although it was Thompson who paid the price.

"We did think, as a group, that we have to shoulder responsibility for results and what happened...none of that was Thommo's fault. But we can't keep focusing on that now, we have to push forward."

The 34-year-old defenceman said he'd had little time to order his thoughts on applying for the coach's job. But he said: "I know pressure comes with the role.

“I'd have to see how it would fit for my family and our lifestyle. But I could cope with the pressure. Everybody gets a voice on social media and are entitled to their opinion. It can be tough. But I think I could handle the job as head coach for the remainder of the season. 

"At the same time, we will have to see what other candidates come through to pick from.

"I am getting a lot of support and people are telling me I am doing a good job and I want to continue to improve and get a wealth of experience.

"But at the moment I am focusing on getting the team prepared for a big weekend, keeping positive and aiming to get better results."

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