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Coach Hand: "We will turn this around"

Monday, 14th November 2011

Manchester Phoenix player coach Tony Hand remains philosophical, despite the devastating effect of the incessant injuries plaguing the team this season. The task of defending the league title, daunting in itself, has been made more onerous by the fact that Phoenix have not yet had a single full game in which there was a fully fit roster to work with.

“Losing our two import defenders at the same time was a massive blow, and the injuries to our other players – Long, Archer, Wallace and myself – has tested the mettle and shown the character of the guys in the squad. However, bringing in cover for them is not as easy as it seems. Drafting in replacements as short term cover is difficult as players may well have commitments which stop them moving on a short term basis.

“We also have a business plan to adhere to and, unfortunately, finances are not unlimited.

“Like all organisations, Phoenix has to be run as a business and Neil Morris has always maintained that the budget must be geared to the club’s sustainability, making sure professional hockey remains in Manchester.

“In the six years I have been working with Neil, he has always given me 100% support in team matters and his total commitment to Phoenix and belief in what we are trying to do is one of the main reasons our working relationship is so good.

“I have absolutely no doubt that when we get our injured guys back and have a full squad we will be challenging at the top to win more silverware for our fans. The fans, as always, have been brilliant and their support means a lot to myself and the players. Winning the title last year was as much for them as for ourselves and we are channelling all our efforts into doing it again.”

Tony Hand

Tony Hand is confident that Phoenix will be challenging for silverware again soon.


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