“Just delighted to be back and back fit” says Robert Dowd.
Head coach Aaron Fox described having Robert Dowd back in his side next season as “like signing a new player”
Dowd was on course for a 30 goal season when injury struck mid way through last year and underwent two major surgeries on his shoulder “it was frustrating sitting in the stands” said Dowd “but with great help from the clubs medical staff I’m back fighting fit and lifting the same weights I would have been if the injury had not of happened.
“Like all players I’m now just sitting at home waiting for the green light to get back to the rink and start skating”
Dowd made his debut for the Steelers in 2006-07, this will be his 13thyear at the club (with a two year spell in Belfast and Troja) He is presently 6thin the clubs all time appearance list having played 590 games in Orange.
In the EIHL era only Jeff Legue has more goals and points than Dowd’s 244 goals and 488 points.
“He is a shoot first player” explained Fox and those are hard to find, he brings speed and tenacity, he is hard on pucks and in my opinion is the best British player in the league”
The Steelers have today confirmed Dowd’s place in the 2020-21 side as he completes the final year of his existing two-year contract.
Fox also confirmed that Davey Phillips and James Bettauer would be returning for the new season, once the government restrictions had been lifted for the team to return to full service.
It will be Davey Phillips 6th season with the club since joining from the Manchester Storm in 2016
“Davey plays such a solid, smart, physical game. He keeps the game extremely simple and is willing to be that team first stay at home Dman so others can be rewarded.
“Winning Teams need a guy like this in their lineup. He also keeps the locker room in good spirits as he’s quite a funny character. Really glad we have him back for another year.
“These are interesting times” continued Fox “we are building a squad to compete for trophies and knowing these guys are back under contract is a good feeling
Fox also clarified the position regarding some of the clubs younger players.
“Cole Shudra has agreed to a two-way contract with the Sheffield Steeldogs” said Fox “His attitude was outstanding last year. I’m sure he would have liked to have played more. Knowing Cole is just over the road and ready to step in when needed is very satisfying.
“The same will apply for Alex Graham, though this is subject to ongoing attention he is receiving in the CHL drafts that are taking place. Alex is another special talent, if he moves to North America we know he will give that opportunity everything that he has. If not then we will welcome him back to our club on the existing two-way contact with the Dogs”
Kieran Brown however won’t be returning to the Steelers this year having asked for his release. “We’ve agreed to Kieran’s request” said Fox “we wish him the best of luck moving forward and hope his career develops in the right direction”
More Steelers news to follow at 10.00am this morning.