Preparation time welcomed as Sheffield Steelers open with early visit from Panthers

Sheffield Steelers' head coach, Paul Thompson. Picture: Dean Woolley.
Sheffield Steelers' head coach, Paul Thompson. Picture: Dean Woolley.
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SHEFFIELD STEELERS will be better prepared than ever before for an Elite League campaign, according to head coach Paul Thompson.

Today sees the release of the 2017-18 fixtures for all clubs, with the five-time champions beginning their campaign with a Challenge Cup double header that first takes them to Manchester Storm on September 9 before returning home for an early visit from arch-rivals Nottingham Panthers the following night.

The four-week training camp with the eight warm-up games will the longest and most intense the club has ever had

Sheffield Steelers’ head coach, Paul Thompson.

The Steelers’ league campaign gets underway a week later when they host defending regular season champions Cardiff Devils with a trip to league newcomers Guildford Flames 24 hours later.

Prior to the competitive action, the Steelers begin their pre-season training camp on August 7 with eight exhibition games scheduled, including two each against Sweden’s Sodertalije and German outfit Nurnberg Ice Tigers, the latter coached by former Steelers favourite, Rob Wilson.

These games, followed by further warm-up dates with Manchester and Coventry Blaze, give Thompson the belief his team will be in prime condition come opening night at Manchester.

“The four-week training camp with the eight warm-up games will be the longest and most intense the club has ever had,” said Thompson.

“It will be a great opportunity for me to work with all of our players closely ahead of that opening Cup weekend.”