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Tony Hand at Phoenix junior trials

Monday, 12th June 2006

Britain's greatest ever ice hockey player and now Head Coach of the Manchester Phoenix, Tony Hand MBE, has confirmed he will be attending the first Junior Trials at Deeside on Saturday June 17th.

Speaking from his Edinburgh home where he is currently busy assembling his first Phoenix roster, Tony Hand commented, "trials for the younger hockey players are vital for the future lifeblood of the club and I'm naturally keen to be there to give them some encouragement. I was a youngster once myself and I can remember how I felt when I first went to trials."

Hand continued, "I probably won't take to the ice myself during the trials as I would not want to undermine the guys who will be running the drills - they are the coaches who will guide the various age groups and the youngsters need to know who they'll be playing for initially. We've been very fortunate in that there is good experience of junior coaching in the Manchester area and the desire to re-kindle a junior programme is just what we need going forward."

In closing he added, "I've spoken to most of the guys who want to coach the junior teams and I'm looking forward to meeting with them at the trials. This is the beginning of a new future for hockey in Manchester and that's exciting for everyone concerned."

Phoenix are staging a second trials date also at Deeside on Saturday July 1st, while work continues on the construction of their new home ice facility in Altrincham.

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