Phoenix add two more to the 2011/12 roster

Tuesday, 5th July 2011

The J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix are pleased to announce the signing of two British forwards.

Joining Tony Hand and the team at the Dome are Ciaran Long and Josh Ward.

Ciaran, born in Birmingham, first iced in the EPL in 2005 for Swindon when only 14 years of age. Most of that season was spent with the Swindon Cougars in the GB U-19 league where he notched 9 goals in 14 games.

In the following two years, he played at three levels for the Swindon organisation, icing for the Wildcats EPL and ENL teams and again for the Cougars

Ciaran was earning more and more ice time with the seniors and in 2008 had his best season to date, scoring 15 goals and 17 assists in 48 games. He then moved on to Slough Jets, where he helped Peter Russell’s team to EPL Play Off success.

Another move last year, this time to Basingstoke and a 30 point season with the Herd. Not afraid to mix things up and look after team mates, Ciaran also picked up 114 penalty minutes.

17 international appearances at the under 18 and 20 age groups, where he is the proud owner of 2 gold, a silver and a bronze medal from the World Junior Championships, and 222 games at EPL level, Ciaran brings experience to Phoenix not often seen at the tender age of 20 years.

Ciaran weighs in at 6ft 3in and 157lbs and hopes to bring grit and determination to the Phoenix and help the club to further honours in the EPL.

Coach Tony Hand had this to say about Ciaran: “Ciaran is a young lad with a lot of league and GB experience. He is young and hungry and will be a good addition to our roster.”

19 year old Josh Ward is a product of the Nottingham youth system and he started his career in 2006 with the Nottingham Leopards in the under 19 and 18 leagues. Progressing to the ENL Nottingham Lions 2 years later, Josh blossomed into a fine young player. He was noticed by the senior Panthers side in 2009 and played on a three way contract with the Lions, Panthers and Leopards that season.

Continuing his development, Josh, now too old for the Leopards, played on another 3 way contract last season where he iced 35 times for the Panthers, 17 for the Lions and 6 for the Peterborough Phantoms.

An obvious highlight last year was picking up an Elite League Play off winners medal to add to the 2 Elite League Challenge Cup winner’s medals already on the mantelpiece.

He still managed to find time to represent Great Britain at under18 and under 20 levels in the World Junior Championships, picking up a bronze medal.

Josh brings a youthful exuberance coupled with strength, talent and potential to Phoenix and will be a welcome addition to the squad.

Coach Hand said: “With the experience the team has so far, I felt we needed some youth and energy to balance the squad. Josh certainly brings both to the team. I am looking for Josh to continue his development with us and fulfil his obvious potential."

Player Profiles

Ciaran Long

Ciaran Long

Josh Ward

Josh Ward

Sign up for the Phoenix Newsletter

Click here to visit Phoenix TV