Burning questions

Wednesday, 11th June 2014

Hi everyone, I hope you are all enjoying your summer away from hockey as much as I am. I’m really enjoying my well-deserved rest but, as some of you may know, due to illness, I have decided to take semi-retirement and work just two days per week from home.

That certainly hasn’t stopped all those enquiries coming to me! I’ve been stopped in Asda, on Oldham Civic car park, in the market and my Private Message boxes on both Facebook and the Phoenix forum has been crammed with questions.

So, on your behalf, (and also to keep myself in the loop) I caught up with Neil Morris and Tony Hand to get some answers to some of those burning questions.

So let’s face off with this one. With the demise of the Slough Jets now announced, what, if anything will replace those 3 home games?

Well at the moment Mags I think we should stay with the last Press Release put out by the EIHA that the Challenge Cup will revert back to being played outside of the league games. Tony and I personally would like the Cups to be outside our league games like it used to be years ago. It just allows the team to focus on one competition at a time. It also makes it more interesting as whoever is leading the league is no longer just top of the Cup points as well.

The reason that nothing has been said officially is that, confidentially, a team has applied to join our league but of course they have to go through all the vetting and due diligence to make sure that they meet the league’s criteria.

So that’s two options, and then, as you know the IIHF made a statement during the World Cup about a lot of small countries not producing enough professional ice hockey players at the moment.  Unfortunately we are one of those countries which should not be a surprise to anybody and many say that the jump between NIHL and EPIHL is still too big. They would like to see an FA Cup style competition where there are two conferences, one South and one North, with maybe 4 Premier and the two best national teams in each conference. They have suggested that when, if we come out of the bag to play an NIHL team we might have to replace our imports with under 18’s or 21’s to make the game fair and competitive. Tony and I don’t really see that being implemented this season though to be honest. Our opinion is if that’s what it takes to build more and better players for the future then we would support it. After all at most it would only be 2 home and away against an NIHL team and we will have some good British Players of our own this year just as in the past.

So as you can see Mags there is a lot going on in the background so whatever the outcome our Season Ticket will only be made up as in the past from league and cup games, all our friendlies including War of The Roses will be outside of the season ticket, nothing changes with the Phoenix.

If your questions keep coming, I will make this a regular spot to keep you all up-to-date with all things Phoenix. You can either email me at info@manchesterphoenix.co.uk or PM me on the forum or on Facebook or even ring me on the Phoenix mobile at 07450182749.

See you all on the 22nd June for the Live Player Launch!