Arrival of David Phillips gives coach Paul Thompson more options for Sheffield Steelers

SHEFFIELD STEELERS' head coach Paul Thompson says the arrival of British defenceman David Phillips gives him more forward options for the 2016-17 campaign.

David Phillips, seen in training with GB in Zagreb earlier this week, has joined Elite League champions Sheffield Steelers. Picture: Colin Lawson.

The former Hull Stingrays blue liner joins the five-time Elite League champions after a year with Manchester Storm.

Thompson knows exactly what he is getting with the 28-year-old, having coached him at previous club Coventry Blaze, as well as a number of times when he was head coach of the national team.

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Thompson also played a part in Phillips spending part of his career in the AHL when he joined Chicago Blackhawks affiliate Rockford Ice Hogs for the 
2009-10 campaign.

Paul Thompson

“I’m delighted get Davey here” said Thompson.

“The move all happened very quickly, but sometimes it happens that way.

“I was looking for a right-handed shot defenceman and Davey fits the bill.

“He has size and plays a physical game as well as making a good first pass.

Paul Thompson

“I’ve coached him before both with Coventry and GB and I want to get him back to the top of his game, we are a club that can do that.”

Phillips is currently out in Croatia as part of the current GB men’s team striving to earn promotion to the second tier of the World Championships, something they can do if they take a point from their final Division 1B encounter against Ukraine today.

The retirement of British forward Jason Hewitt at the end of the 2015-16 season meant Thompson was always in the market for another homegrown player.

“With Jason leaving us I needed to bring in a quality top-end British player,” he added. “We need to do that if we want to play fast, exciting four-line hockey. By adding Davey it leaves me scope to add another import up front to balance the lines out.”