Paul Thompson took over the reins at Sheffield Steelers today, promising a professional and fully-planned performance as new head coach of the league-winning club.
The former Coventry Blaze man, who has spent the last two seasons coaching clubs in Sweden and Denmark, told a press conference at the Royal Victoria Holiday Inn that the fact his best friend was club official David Simms had little to do with him accepting the appointment.
He said his relationship with Simms over the years, in fact, had been a reason why he’d resisted the approaches of the club.
Tony Smith, the owner, had faith in him to deliver what was required in an expanding club - and that was the main reason he’d taken the hot-seat.
Now his priority was to see how he could improve and develop what was already a very good team.
Thompson said he would be speaking to all players and members of staff as the wrestles with the task of finding the most effective chemistry to defend the Elite title
and win the other trophies available.
His side will also be competing in the European Champions League.
Smith, referring to his previous record of releasing coaches Gerad Adams, Ryan Finnerty and Doug Christiansen, admitted there were no guarantees in sport.
But he said he would be very surprised if Thompson did not complete his initial two-year contrtact...and stay much longer.
See tomorrow’s Star for more on this story.