Captain Jonathan Phillips has only been back from the World Championships a week but is already looking forward to the new Elite league season.
It will be Phillip’s 15th season with the Steelers after joining from the Cardiff Devils back in 2006. Since then Jonno has pulled on the Steelers jersey an incredible 905 times scoring 170 goals and 457 points.
“We are isolating right now after returning from the World Championships but I’m looking forward to getting back to some sort of regular lifestyle and routine, for me that will mean an early visit to the gym every day as we prepare for the new season.
“Right now, we are working towards a September start but if last year taught us anything it is that things and situations move so quickly so I guess expect the unexpected
“I speak with Foxy on a regular basis and he keeps me up to date with what’s going on, right now he is busy putting a team together, one that we all hope will compete for trophy’s again”
Phillips believes that the 2021 Elite Series was great preparation for the World Championships and helped them in the efforts last month “without doubt it helped, a lot of players had had little ice, I was one of those. The 5 or 6 weeks certainly got us all going again”
The Steelers captain thinks that one or two faces from that series might appear in Orange again once the regular season starts “I think a couple of players we had for the Elite Series were impressed with Sheffield, Foxy and what we were all about.
“I stay in touch with some of them and I think there would certainly be interest both ways”
Phillips like all of us in Sheffield was shocked to hear the news of the passing of team mate Marek Troncinsky “I think we were all numb when we heard the news on the morning. Stunned. I think I had heard just a day or two before that he had re-signed for us and we were all excited with that news.
“He was a great player for us, a character and superb team mate. He will be missed massively by all of us. I think you can see that the fans will also miss him, their reaction and desire to help Marek’s daughter is there for all to see and I think we all know when our fan base get behind something they make sure it is a success.
“I’m sure as a team when we start up again that we will all do something in recognition of Tron and make sure he is never forgotten in Sheffield.”
With over 900 games in a Steelers shirt you would think that the summer motivation was an issue but not to Jonathan Phillips “No, I like the summers, I enjoy training and working out. I’m sure we will get a way somewhere for a break with the family but being a professional hockey player is a 52 week job now and the work we put in over these months help us when the season comes a long.
“When the season starts it will be an incredible feeling to skate out once again onto the arena ice, I know the fans can’t wait but we can’t wait as well. It can’t come soon enough”