Martins Susters tipped to prosper after making switch to Sheffield Steeldogs from Peterborough Phantoms

Sheffield Steeldogs' player-coach Ben Morgan. Picture: Cerys Molloy.Sheffield Steeldogs' player-coach Ben Morgan. Picture: Cerys Molloy.
Sheffield Steeldogs' player-coach Ben Morgan. Picture: Cerys Molloy. | freelance
SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS’ coach Ben Morgan is convinced his team can help new signing Martins Susters achieve his ambition of playing at a higher level.

The 21-year-old Latvian forward was one of the standout performers in the first season of NIHL National, scoring 70 points, including 36 goals, in 47 games, helping Peterborough Phantoms secure a third-place finish under Slava Koulikov.

The winger has spent the majority of his junior and senior career in Peterborough but has opted for a second spell in South Yorkshire as he believes the Steeldogs’ development system offers him the best chance of going on to play at an even higher level.

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“The biggest reason he decided to make a move and join us was because of our development pathway,” said Morgan. “We’ve been able to build that up over the past couple of years, with numerous players moving on to Elite League and beyond.

INCOMING: Latvian-born forward Martins Susters, left, has switched from Peterborough Phantoms to Sheffield Steeldogs. Picture courtesy of Sheffield Steeldogs.INCOMING: Latvian-born forward Martins Susters, left, has switched from Peterborough Phantoms to Sheffield Steeldogs. Picture courtesy of Sheffield Steeldogs.
INCOMING: Latvian-born forward Martins Susters, left, has switched from Peterborough Phantoms to Sheffield Steeldogs. Picture courtesy of Sheffield Steeldogs. | freelance

“He feels it is the best fit for him, his development as a young aspiring player and we feel we can cater for his needs.

“All of the feedback I’ve had is that he’s extremely motivated, driven and someone who sees himself playing at a much higher level in years to come.”

Susters spent part of the 2013-4 season in the Sheffield junior system before returning to Cambridgeshire.

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In 2017-18, he returned to Latvia to play for his hometown team HK Riga in the Russian junior League (MHL) before a brief stint at Invicta Dynamoes the following year preceded another return to the Phantoms.

But the Steeldogs have persuaded Susters his immediate future lies in Sheffield and Morgan believes he has added the kind of player laced with ability to play in all situations.

“We need a little bit more scoring, especially primary scoring and he is another player who will bring us that this season,” added Morgan. “He also brings vision and an ability to mix it up, he has different styles of play.

“He is not just an end to end type of player; he will get in the corners, he connects well in link up play – he has talent in an abundance. He can be versatile on different lines, one who will naturally be looking to put up good numbers on special teams.”

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Susters is the Steeldogs' third confirmed signing for the 2020-21 campaign, coming three days after it was conformed fellow forward Nathan Salem would be staying at Ice Sheffield for a third straight season.

Morgan was confirmed as remaining in position as player-coach a week earlier, with Greg Wood also remaining as assistant coach.

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