With the start of The Steelers season less than four weeks away, head coach Aaron Fox has named his final 3 import forwards.
Daniel Ciampini, Brett Neumann and Brandon McNally will complete The Steelers forward line up ahead on the new year commencing with games against Nottingham Panthers (away on the 27th and at home at the Arena on Sunday 28th August – face off 4.oopm)
It’s expected that Fox will confirm the clubs final defenceman and starting goaltender next week.
“I’m delighted with this trio” said Fox “I think we have an exciting and balanced forward line up”
On Daniel Ciampini Fox said “Ciampini is going to come in and be a guy who we expect to be a top player for us.
“He was 2nd in League scoring in Austria in 20-21 and top 3 in Norway the year before that. Daniel plays a very skilled all around game, skates well, competes hard and can make his teammates around him better.
Last season Daniel went to the Czech Extraliga and had an early injury, when he got healthy his team was out of contention so he returned to ICEHL for remainder of year joining Bolzano. He’s coming to help us achieve our goals and is excited to get back to scoring and being that difference maker he’s been before.
“I’m really looking forward to him getting in and going”
Speaking from his home in Toronto Daniel Ciampini commented “From the moment Aaron and I started talking I felt we had a good connection.
“I haven’t won a lot in my career and it was important I was coming to a contender, somewhere I can come in and help make a difference. Sheffield has that tradition.
“Everyone I spoke with about the organisation said great things about the city, arena and organisation. The word is that Sheffield treat their players and families first class and that is important when travelling half way around the world.
“I’ve travelled around Europe, Austria, Italy, Norway and Czech. The UK will be a new experience and one I’m looking forward to, all being well I will arrive in Sheffield shortly and I can’t wait to get going”
Fox was also delighted to bring in 23 year old centre Brett Neumann, a former team mate of Belfast Giants forward Scott Conway
“Brett is a dynamic forward who plays with great quickness and is excellent in tight areas.
He’s got a great shot and is a very unselfish offensive player. Brett’s a natural Center but he can also play all 3 forward positions. I think he will come in and run some big numbers for us.
Brett is young and extremely motivated to come in and be a top end guy and contributor for us this year. If you look at his last year in the OHL which was the same last year Kirky was there the numbers he put up were outstanding. In his rookie year in ECHL in 20-21 in Allen where he played for Aaron Johnson who had great things to say about his game, character and work ethic as well.
“He played on a line at times with Conway from Belfast and their numbers looked very similar. We all know that does not translate to the same success that’s for sure but when watching on tape his game really stood out”
It will be Neumann’s second season in Europe after a spell in Austria last year “I’m excited, a new challenge for me to look forward to. I can’t wait to arrive and get going
“My agent had a great relationship with Aaron and I guess I was putting my trust in them both, I’m looking forward to the new challenge and hope I can help the team win a championship. I work out a lot with Evan McGrath who played in Sheffield and he was excited when I signed”
Neumann describes himself as a reliable player “I’d like to think so” he said “I can play in all situations, a 2-way guy
“I think people would say that my main feature is my speed and energy, I create space and can jump into holes. I’d like to think my work ethic is my plus though, I love to compete and I think all fans appreciate that”
Brandon McNally joins The Steelers from the Cardiff Devils, where he was a part of their play off championship side last year.
Fox stated “Brandon is no stranger to the league and don’t think we could of found a better guy to come in to play a role and give us something we have lacked in previous years.
“I don’t believe in bringing in one dimensional guys and him being a guy willing to stick up for his teammates and answer the bell when needed came 2nd to me when watching his game back. Before his injury he was playing key minutes and contributing for Cardiff at both ends of the ice.
“Brandon is big, skates well and when engaged a extremely effective player. I had many conversations with him and there isn’t a guy coming in with a bigger chip
on their shoulder and more excited to get started”
McNally confirmed that enthusiasm saying “Sheffield is a great place to play with incredible fan support, I was keep to join after experiencing the atmosphere in that arena last year
“When things didn’t work out in Cardiff I set my sights on joining Sheffield”
About his style of play Brandon said “You know what, you play the role that’s given you. In Cardiff they wanted a fourth line guy so that’s what I did. In Italy they needed a first line guy and I did pretty well there scoring 50 points in Vipiteno. I think Aaron knows he is getting an experienced and versatile guy that will do whatever is asked of him”