Final defenceman signed

Tuesday, 13th September 2011

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix are pleased to announce the signing of the final piece of the roster puzzle for the 2011/12 season. Former Czech and Slovak Extraliga defender Jaroslav Spelda will patrol the blue line in Phoenix colours for the upcoming season.

The 36 year old former Czech Under-18 international has had an extensive career in two of the best leagues in European Hockey. It all started in the country then known as Czechoslovakia when, as a 17 year old, he played for top Extraliga side Pardubice.

That season (1992-93) also saw him represent his country in the European Junior Championships at under 18 level.

After two seasons there, Jaroslav moved to Liberec and Berounsti Medvedi in the Czech 2nd division. He received another call-up to the top league in 1998 and spent the next 4 seasons at Plzen and Karlovy Vary before again icing in the 2nd division with Kladno in 2002. That season, he helped them to promotion to the Extraliga and moved up with them for 3 seasons in the top division.

Jaroslav moved in 2006 across the border to the now separate republic of Slovakia to play for HC Kosice, the top club in Slovakian Ice Hockey. Three successful seasons culminated in the defender helping the club to the Slovakian Championship in 2008 where he played alongside Juraj Faith, who is also icing for Phoenix this coming season.

The 2009 season saw Jaroslav change teams and he had a season and a half with HK Nitra, again in the Slovak Extraliga before moving to the Italian second division team Eppan-Appiano for their end of season play offs.

The stay at home blue-liner has iced over 700 games in two of the top five leagues in European Hockey and brings a wealth of experience to the team in skill and leadership.

Coach Tony Hand said of the clubs latest signing: “Jaroslav is an excellent acquisition for the team. He will be phenomenal in the EPL. Standing at 6 foot and 210lbs he is big, strong and solid. You don’t play 700 games in top European Hockey without having talent. He has the skill to be the best defender in the league.”

Player Profile

Jaroslav Spelda

Jaroslav Spelda

Manchester Phoenix Community Sports Foundation

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