Phoenix bid Ed farewell

Saturday, 20th March 2010

Manchester Phoenix confirmed late on Friday that their former NHL forward Ed Courtenay won't be returning to Britain to play in the English Premier League playoffs.

Courtenay returned to South Carolina at the beginning of March for a family visit, but while at home received an offer to interview for a position with Pepsi-Cola. Courtenay advised Phoenix player coach Tony Hand that he has been successful with the job application and therefore won't return to Manchester to see out the season.

Tony Hand commented, "Naturally, this is disappointing news for us as we build toward the post-season campaign. Ed has scored 45 goals for us this season and that kind of firepower and his experience could have been vital in the playoffs."

"But like myself, he's the wrong side of forty and he's looking to his long-term future and we have to reluctantly respect that. Ed has had a long and successful career both in North America and here in the UK and we wish him well in his new post-hockey career."

Speaking from his home in the US, Courtenay thanked his former Sheffield and Ayr teammate for giving him the opportunity to play in Manchester this season. "I've known Tony a long time and I'd like to both thank him for bringing me to Manchester and apologise to him for the suddenness in which this has happened. I'd like to thank the guys in the locker room, all the staff and everyone else connected with the club for everything. It's a great set-up in Manchester and I'm sure the club will be successful."

Hand closed saying, "With Ed now out of the equation, everyone now knows the task and the opportunity ahead of them for the next three weeks. It's big ask to replace the kind of goal threat Ed gave us, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going and I'll be looking for everyone to pick up the sIack and show me the commitment and desire to go all the way."

Ed Courtenay

Ed Courtenay

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