This Seasons Visitors: PHOENIX

Manchester Phoenix summer wrap

We've a little under a week to squeeze in our remaining look at this season's visitors, so this morning (Monday, September 8th), we bang on the door of the Manchester Phoenix to look what they've been up to over the summer.


Fact File

Founded:  2003

Franchise:  None

Rink:  The Altrincham Ice Dome

Head Coach:  Tony Hand MBE

Last Season:  1st (out of 10 clubs) and Playoff Finalists.


Leaving the Phoenix

35-year old D-Man Robert Schnabel has retired along with Tony Hand, however the latter continues with the club in his capacity of head coach and has also awarded himself the #9 shirt, so it's more likely a full retirement isn't on the cards just yet!  Andy McKinney traded a place with the Champions in favour of the Guildford Flames.  Richard Bentham is the only other notable departure, as he moved to the Solway Sharks.


2013-14 Wrap

Deserved winners of last year’s league campaign, the Phoenix will certainly be looking to retain the trophy this time round with some serious new signings joining the roster this year. 

The Phoenix drew 3-3 with the Sheffield Steeldogs in the first leg of their annual War of the Roses preseason warm up but were well and truly beaten 6-1 in last nights (Sunday, September 7th) second leg meaning the Steeldogs walked off with the cup for a third successive year.

 

2014-15 ROSTER


KEY PLAYERS

Robin KOVAR - #66  The 30-year old Czech Republic born player was a 4th round NFL draft pick by Edmonton Oilers in 2002 and has a wealth of experience playing in the US, Slovakia, Holland and ten years for various clubs in his homeland.  Robin moved to the Phoenix last season and helped the club to the league title, playing 52 games, scoring 36 goals and making 42 assists for 78 points.  He was named as the first returning player in this year’s Phoenix roster.

 

Frantisek BAKRLIK - #83  The experienced Czech Republic forward has returned to the Phoenix for a second year after impressing with figures of 49-44-35-79 last season.  The 30-year old has played in Canada and Poland as well as his home nation and here in Great Britain, has played for the Hull Stingrays, Coventry Blaze, Fife Flyers and the Slough Jets before arriving in Altrincham having caught the eye of Head Coach Tony Hand.

 

Michal PSURNY - #13  Psurny will start his third straight year with the Phoenix, and is another player who posts great figures on a regular basis.  A former Czech Republic U16, U18 and U20 level player, he also featured in the Western Hockey League for the Medicine Hat Tigers and Kootenay Ice as well as playing at the highest level in his home country.

 

SQUAD PROFILES


NETMINDERS

Stephen FONE - #31  [Pictured right] The 26-year old netminder begins his sixth year with the Phoenix after helping them to the league title last year along with a playoff final appearance, making a fantastic .913% save average along the way.  Having begun his career with the Sheffield Steelhawks he has also featured for the Solihull Barons, Sheffield Scimitars, Coventry Blaze, Romford Raiders and the Basingstoke Bison.   He also has three GB U20s appearances to his name.


Declan RYAN - #35  Signed from the Telford Tigers in a surprise move in June.  The 21-year old Brit was in impressive form for the Tigers notching up a .903 save average last year, and a .902% the previous campaign.  The former GB U18 and U20s player will certainly strengthen the clubs shot-stopping options.    

 


DEFENDERS

Luke BOOTHROYD - #4  The 27-year old D-Man joined the club ahead of the 2008-09 season and has been the ever present club captain ever since.  Having begun his career with Bradford in 2002-03, he was quickly snapped up by the Elite League Hull Stingrays and has played for the GB U18s, U20s and indeed the Senior GB side as recently as the 2012-13 season.

   

Johan BURLIN - #38  Swedish born import who arrived in GB for the first time ahead of the new season.  Despite being just 25-years of age, has a wealth of experience in various leagues in his homeland, but since 2010-11, has only spent one season at various clubs split between Russia, Germany and Italy.

 

Joe GRAHAM - #29  Joe is beginning his second successive season with the Champions, and a career third spell having moved from the Peterborough Phantoms at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.    Having started his hockey career with the Solihull Barons, he has iced at the highest level for the Nottingham Panthers and is a former GB U18s and U20s product.

 

James NEIL - #12  Another former product of the set up at Nottingham, who also has experience from the GB U18s and U20s set up.  Having arrived at the Phoenix in time for the 2010-11 season, the player has been with the club ever since, making over 50 appearances per season. 

 

Ben WOOD - #15  Having begun his career with the Flintshire Avalanche, the player arrived with the Phoenix in 2008-09 and has impressed the coaches ever since and is another player who has remained a constant in the rear-guard season on season. 

 


FORWARDS 

James ARCHER - #2  [Pictured left] Named as an Alternative Captain for the fourth season in a row, Archer is another in the Phoenix roster who is talented and young, at just 26 years old.  A former GB U18s and U20s player who began his career in Peterborough, he has also featured for the Coventry Blaze and Hull Stringrays in previous seasons and is another player who is a regular on the ice for the side.

 

Bobby CHAMBERLAIN - #10  Talented prospect who has learnt his trade overseas with the OHA Mavericks.  Upon his return he spent a season with the Hull Stingrays and made his GB U18s debut and last season, with the GB U20s set up.

 

Jacob CORSON-HERON - #62  22-year old who spent six seasons with the MK Lightning and its affiliates between 2005-11 before moving to the Basingstoke Bison.  He managed 54 games during his first season, however with just 15 games played the following campaign, he moved to the Phoenix last season and was back in the +50 appearance mark earning himself a new deal this season. 

 

Jared DICKINSON - #11  Young prospect who has been with the club affiliates since 2007 and has been making gradual progression through their ranks.  He is also signed up for the clubs NIHL side, the Minotaurs.

 

Gareth O'FLAHERTY - #TBC  Another player with a huge future ahead of him and has joined the roster this season on a three-way deal with the Coventry Blaze and Coventry NIHL Blaze.  Having begun his career at Guildford’s affiliate sides, he has also featured for the Bracknell Hornets, Haringey Greyhounds, Nottingham Lions and also the Telford Tigers.

 

Shaun THOMPSON - #73  Having begun his career in Slough, Thompson has iced for Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees (from where he has signed from this season) in the EPIHL, the Nottingham Panthers and Hull Stingrays in the EIHL and is also a former GB U18s and U20s regular up until 2007.

 

Adam WALKER - #20  Scottish born Walker has arrived at the Phoenix from the Telford Tigers .   Although just 27-years of age, the former Wildcats player (in the 2005-06 season) is perhaps one of English Premier Ice Hockey Leagues most experienced Brit players, having previously iced for Fife Flyers, Guildford Flames and the Braehead Clan in the country’s top league and the player is no stranger to the Phoenix, having iced for them between 2006 and 2010.

 

Jack WATKINS - #93  A talented prospect who has played on a regular basis in the EIHL with Coventry, Hull and Dundee and has GB honours at both U18s and U20s level.  

 

For all the news on the Manchester Phoenix, visit their official website here.

 

Sponsorship opportunities starting at just £5 are available for various players for the 2014-15 season as are opportunities to become OFFICIAL WILDCATS vs MANCHESTER PHOENIX GAME DAY SPONSORS.

 

We take on the Phoenix at the Swindon Ice Arena on the following dates and would welcome the opportunity to help promote YOUR company at the game:

 

Saturday December 6th 2014 (EPIHL)

 

Saturday January10th 2015 (EPIHL)

 

Saturday February 14th 2015 (EPIHL)

 

For more details on Player or Game Day sponsorship, please call Wildcats Marketing Manager Sally Price on 07790 079 674.

 

Tickets are now available to purchase for our opening Cup game vs Chelmsford Chieftains which takes place at the Swindon Ice Arena on Saturday September 14th at 6pm.  Not only is it our first game of the new season, but it's also our first Kids Go FREE promotion of the campaign too - so lets FILL THE RINK and help spread the word!

 

To buy your tickets online, click here.

@SWINWILDCATS