Arrivederci Joe; Tallari lands Italian dream

Friday, 11th April 2008

Manchester Phoenix coach Tony Hand will weave his recruiting magic again this summer after receiving the news that last seasons’ top scorer Joe Tallari will be moving to Italy for the 2008-09 season.

Hand commented, “Joe has an Italian passport and indicated to us during the season that once the season ended, he wanted to investigate his chances of playing in Italy in order to try and qualify for the national team. Naturally we wanted him to stay, but on the back of his excellent season for us, a club in Italy has moved quickly to contact him and he’s accepted a verbal offer to move there in September.”

Speaking from his home in Thunder Bay Ontario on Wednesday, Tallari said, “I’ve really enjoyed my season in Manchester, and in many respects I’m sorry not to be coming back. The fans there were incredible toward me, probably the best fans I’ve played in front of in my career so far – I can’t say enough good things about them. And if I was staying in Britain, Manchester is the only club I’d play for.”

In 59 appearances in a Phoenix uniform, Joe Tallari registered 55 goals and 38 assists for 93 points, ranking him sixth in overall scoring in the bmibaby Elite League and second in goals scored behind only Adam Calder of the Coventry Blaze.

He added, “Manchester was a great choice for me last season, the club looked after the players well and playing alongside Tony (Hand) and Brian (Passmore) certainly was a major factor in my numbers for the season. I really enjoyed the way Tony coached and I’m sure he'll do another great job with his recruiting this summer and I think from the way we played in the closing weeks, that the club is definitely moving in the right direction.”

Phoenix GM Andy Costigan added, “Joe was totally professional in the way he conducted his business. He told us of his desire to play for the Italian team and we respected that. We made him a fresh offer for next season, however an Italian club has given him the opportunity he wanted and whilst we’re disappointed, we wish him all the best for his future in Italy.”

Before leaving to link up with the Great Britain squad for their World Championship trip to Austria, Tony Hand closed saying, “Their federation rules stipulate that Italian passport holders must play in the domestic league for two seasons and so the time is right for Joe if he is to impact upon the international stage. We take it as a back-handed compliment to our club that his stellar season in Manchester has provided him this opportunity. Joe is a quality person, we’re sorry to lose him and we hope this move works out well for him.”

Player Profile

Joe Tallari

Joe Tallari is taking the next step towards qualification for the Italian national team
(Image: Richard Murray)

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