Hand signs up play anywhere Finn

Tuesday, 9th June 2009

Manchester Phoenix player/coach Tony Hand has signed his first non-British trained player and is confident that play anywhere Jaakko Hagelberg will be a key addition to his first EPL roster.

Commenting on the first of just four import players he's able to recruit for the English Premier League season Hand said, "Finland is a hot-bed of ice hockey and when Jaakkos' name came my way, I was immediately interested. He's got a good career pedigree having iced 170 games in the SM:liiga, one of the top leagues in Europe."

Hand added, "He's also spent two good years in the German Bundesliga and that's a good standard of hockey too. And our research on him shows he willing to play in any position to help his teams out. Jaakko speaks excellent English, and that's a great help as there will be very few language problems if any."

Twenty-six year old Jaakko Hagelberg hails from Tampere Finland, stands just under six feet tall and tips the scales to 195lbs. A left shot left-winger, he's perfectly happy to play any position. "Playing left wing suits me, but I'll play any position. Earlier in my career, I was a third line forward with Tappara Tampere and Lukko Rauma in Finland, and I learned to play other roles in order to get more ice time. I like to score and make offensive plays, but if I have to I'll happily play any position. I've always played powerplay and penalty kill, and I've played on a checking line too. I pride myself on doing whatever I can to help the teams I play for. I like to think that my strength is having no real weaknesses in my game."

"Coming to England is an exciting opportunity for me and players I know who have played in England have told me Manchester is a great city, I'm very happy to have signed for Phoenix."

Player Profile

Jaakko Hagelberg

Jaakko Hagelberg: will play any position
(Image: Bietigheim Steelers in the German Bundesliga)

Sign up for the Phoenix Newsletter

Manchester Phoenix Community Sports Foundation

Click here to visit Phoenix TV