Owner Smith exits Sheffield Steeldogs to concentrate on building up Hull Pirates

Dominic Osman, player-coach of Hull Pirates, pictured during his time playing for the city's former Elite League club, Hull Stingrays.
Dominic Osman, player-coach of Hull Pirates, pictured during his time playing for the city's former Elite League club, Hull Stingrays.
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SHANE SMITH has stepped aside at Sheffield Steeldogs after deciding to concentrate all of his energies on English Premier League rivals Hull Pirates, the club he launched in the summer following the demise of Hull Stingeays, the city's former Elite League club.

The new owners of the Steeldogs are Ali Cree and Robin Grayson, whose arrival has been welcomed by player-coach Greg Wood.

“They took the time out to come and speak to the team as a whole and explain their plans for the club and all of us are 100 per cent on board," said Wood.

In a statement released via the Pirates' Facebook page, Smith said he was looking forward to concentrating his efforts in East Yorkshire, working closely with player-coach Dominic Osman, who he initially appointed to the same position at the Steeldogs back in April, only to switch him to become boss in Hull a few weeks later.

"Me and Dom have a great friendship and working relationship and feel we will go far with this team," said Smith. "I feel I've done all I can in Sheffield for now and it's time to move on and let someone continue moving things forward (with the Steeldogs).

"I appreciate fans want to see entertaining hockey and the results, but it's early days and the (Hull) team was put together at the last minute.

"All the guys are now buying into what we want. The games over last few weeks have been very close, except for a few minor bumps along the way, but the results are starting to come.

"We feel we can take the Pirates to the top of the league over the next few years."