Ben makes it ten!
The first player signing we can confirm for season 2020/21 is the man who is responsible for building the team and guiding them through the campaign.
Ben Morgan is back for his 10th season at the Steeldogs and his 3rd as player/coach. He is one of the few players to have represented Sheffield at every level, through the Academy and the Scimitars and on to the Steelers. He won the league with the Manchester Phoenix before returning to Sheffield and joining the Steeldogs for our 2nd season.
When it comes to Steeldogs records, he is in the top 3 in several categories including games played and points. He leads by example on the ice; his commitment is unquestionable – as proven by the bruises he has after most games from his personal sacrifice in blocking shots!
Off the ice his preparation both personally and for the team is meticulous. He puts in the time and effort to make sure everything is done to ensure the Dogs are ready to hit the ice come game time – and all this combined with a full-time job as a teacher, husband and dad to two young children.
For the Steeldogs ownership, the decision to bring Ben back for this season was a simple one. Co-owner Roger Williams explained “As a club, our focus remains the same, so having a coach who believes in those principles is vital. Ben is a product of the Sheffield hockey system and having experienced it all, he really values giving the next generation every opportunity to follow their dreams.
“There was a lot of young talent in the squad last season and he once again gave them their chances. His commitment is exemplary and he is reminder to younger players of what can be achieved. He’s the right guy to keep the club moving forward – and let’s not forget that he’s still one of the best d-men in the NIHL too! We are very happy that Ben will be our player/coach for the 20/21 season.”
Ben is excited to continue his role with the Dogs in the NIHL National Division; “I feel there is unfinished business, the way the season ended wasn’t good for anybody it didn’t allow us to give a full account of ourselves. We were looking forward to the playoffs where it’s anybody’s game and in those pressurised situations where it’s do or die, I think we would have performed well against anybody.
“I know the league is going to be really competitive again - not just our games but for all the fixtures. I also know from what we achieved in the past year, that if we put our minds to it, we are not just capable of turning over any team but that we can absolutely drive another team off the ice when we get it right - especially at home but we also put in some great performances on the road.
“We took 6 or 7 weeks to establish ourselves with some mixed results but it was then that the injuries hit and we struggled. But what we did see was the boys who were playing managed to regroup, refocus and give their all. During that time, we probably surprised a few people and really pulled off some great wins and showed what we were capable of.”
Morgs was pleased that the team did deliver when the chips were down; “You always hope that the guys you sign will be able to step up and fulfill their potential if put in those situations - and I think every single one of them to a man did that. It fills me with confidence moving forward that if we find ourselves in those difficult situations again and equally looking 2 or 3 years down the line that these guys have it in them to be really great hockey players”.
There will be more from Ben shortly, where he’ll share more of his plans for the team.
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