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Phoenix confirm first eight player signings

Thursday, 30th April 2009

Manchester Phoenix head coach has announced his first signings as he looks forward to the club icing the 2009-10 season in the English Premier League.

Speaking at the clubs press conference on Thursday night with almost two hundred supporters in attendance, Tony Hand confirmed four returnees to the Phoenix squad from last season.

Defencemen Luke Boothroyd and Carl Graham will be joined by back-up netminder Adam Summerfield and forward Adam Walker. Hand then confirmed three further signings in netminder Stephen Fone, formerly with the Coventry Blaze, 19-year old defenceman Joe Graham, formerly with the Nottingham Panthers and Ben Wood who will step up to the Phoenix senior squad having iced for the successful Phoenix English National League side that won promotion last season.

And when asked by supporters if he would continue to play Hand advised, “I still enjoy the training and playing ice hockey, so yes, I will continue to play for at least one more season. The big thing for the club though is the signings we’ve made in all these young, hungry players and some more we’re still talking to. I’m pleased that the four guys we had last season have stayed with us and I’m delighted to have signed Foney and young Joe. They are great young prospects and if we can sign a couple more of the guys I’ve talked to, we’ll have a very exciting pack of British players representing Manchester next season.”
“As for Ben Wood, he trained with us on a number of occasions last season and I’m keen to give players already within the club system the chance to step up. A couple of the other ENL guys will probably train with us regularly too, and if they look like they can make the step up, they’ll get their chance as well.”
Quizzed as to where he is at with signing the permitted non-British players that the EPL allow, Hand noted, “We have talked to a couple of guys, but as yet we’ve nothing concrete to announce. We’re just entering May, and there is plenty of time, however I know the supporters are keen to see who we’ll bring in and as soon as we get things sorted, we’ll get the new out. We’re all excited about joining the EPL, there are some good teams out there and some good players to compete against. It’s a fresh new challenge for us and one we’re looking forward to.”
Adam Walker

Adam Walker is one of four Phoenix EIHL players from last season who have re-signed for the 2009/10 season.


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