Wallace looks for flying start

Friday, 28th May 2010

Completing a trio of returnee signings in the space of a week, Billingham-born forward Stephen Wallace makes it a round dozen of British born and trained players signed to the Manchester Phoenix for the 2010-11 season.

Wallace started last season with the Sheffield Scimitars, but left the Yorkshire outfit early in the New Year and joined the Phoenix where he made an immediate impact. Icing in 21 games, the Teesider tallied 13 goals - including two game-winners - and 10 assists for 23 points with just six minutes in penalties.

"I had a good start," said the 26-year old said, "the points began to flow and I was pretty happy with my form. It can be difficult joining a team mid-season, but the guys in the room made me welcome and knowing some of them certainly helped me to settle in."

Unfortunately, the bright start that Wallace enjoyed was interrupted by an injury picked up in Milton Keynes in late February. He was forced to sit out five games, but returned to add four further goals before the end of the campaign.

Phoenix player coach Tony Hand noted, "Wally fitted in well right from the start and his points production was very good. The injury did set him back a little, but I'd seen enough from him in games and training to make me think seriously about asking him to come back. He's got good size, skates well and has the eye for goal."

"Stephen brings out British complement now to twelve players and so now my focus will switch to looking at the four players we can bring in from overseas. I'm in no rush whatsoever, I'll have a good look around and will ensure we get the right guys for the places I have left to fill."

For Stephen Wallace though, the summer months are giving him the chance to prepare properly for a second stint with the Phoenix and he's already thinking about the pre-season to come. "Having signed to come back to Manchester, I can relax a little, but I'm looking forward to getting ready for a full season. I'm in the gym and keeping in good shape and by the time we hit the ice for pre-season training, I'll be raring to go. I want to hit the ground running, the quicker we all hit our stride the better the start we can make as a team."

"I was quite happy with the way things went last season, but I want things to get better still. It's a good set-up in Manchester, Tony is very encouraging and looking at the team signed so far, I think we can be quietly confident of a good season."

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Stephen Wallace

Stephen Wallace is the 12th British signing for Phoenix

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