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Both Robert Dowd and Marco Vallerand will be making their way to Italy this week after signing contracts with Italian side Eppan.
However Steelers head coach Aaron Fox did some signing of his own with the two forwards before their departure. Vallerand committing him-self to the Steelers for the 2021-22 season and Dowd for a further two years until the end of the 2022 campaign, a year that will coincide with a well-deserved testimonial.
“I’m obviously very happy that we were able to come to terms for the 21-22 season for Valley and also on the 2 year extension on Dowdy” said Fox
“I think that they are both premium players in this league and I’m excited both were ready to do this deal at this time. I’m really looking forward to having them back with us next year but In saying that it’s also very disappointing that we are in this position still here that they have to look outside the UK to play Hockey for this current season.
“The reality is that players need to play and I am very happy they will have that opportunity to start playing now in Italy”
Robert Dowd joined the Steelers back in 2006 and has spent all but two of the seasons that followed with the club (2011-12 Belfast Giants / 2012-13 Troja Lungby)
Dowd is 6thin all time appearance for the club (590) and is 4thin all time points scored (488) second in the EIHL era only behind Jeff Legue.
Speaking before leaving for Italy Dowdy said “I’m excited for this new challenge with Eppan, it was important that I played this season and didn’t have a year off.
“I was very happy to meet with Tony and Aaron and sort out a new deal with the Steelers though before leaving. I think everyone knows how much playing for the club means to me and I want to leave a mark, a legacy here in Sheffield
“The club has always treated me well and for them to grant me a testimonial at the end of the 2022 season is both kind and generous. I will miss playing in front of our crazy fans and seeing the arena packed. For now though Vally and I head to Eppan to give our best for that club and to try and lift a trophy their as we did last year with the Steelers. Wish us well”
Join head coach Aaron Fox at the next Coach’s Dinner at Silversmiths with the SSSC on Friday 16th October contact the SSSC – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets cost £40 each including a 3 course meal