Two more return to the fold

Thursday, 31st May 2012

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix are delighted to announce the return of netminder Stephen Fone and forward James Archer for the 2012-13 season.

Top netminder Fone first played in the EPL in 2005 for Solihull Barons and Sheffield Scimitars. The following season he made the move to the Elite League with Coventry Blaze as back up netminder. He was also called up to the GB under-20 squad for the World Junior Championships and picked up a bronze medal.

The following 3 seasons, Stephen continued to back up at Coventry and went on loan to Romford, Basingstoke and Manchester Phoenix in the EPL to gain much needed ice time.

Whilst with the Blaze, he picked up an Elite Challenge Cup and two Championship medals. Tony Hand came calling in 2009 and he iced for Phoenix in their inaugural season in the EPL and backstopped the club to the EPL Championship the following year and was awarded a starting slot in the league’s All Star Team.

This will be his 4th season in Phoenix colours and Stephen had this to say about his return: “I have had 3 good years at Phoenix. The locker room is brilliant and I am really looking forward to another year in front of the Phoenix fans.”

Coach Hand commented: “Stephen had a very steady season last time out and has matured into a fine netminder. It is good to have him back and hopefully he will continue his fine form.”

The popular James Archer has also signed on the dotted line for another year. James is much travelled for his tender 23 years and is a veteran of over 350 EPL games. It all started for James in 2003 when he signed for Peterborough Phantoms as a 15 year old and stayed with them for 5 seasons. During that time he had games in the Elite League with Coventry Blaze and Sheffield Scimitars in the EPL. The last year of the five was split between the Phantoms, Scimitars and Blaze.

Then in 2008 he made the short journey from Peterborough to Milton Keynes. 2009 saw him on the move again, this back to his home town of Sheffield with the Scimitars and 7 games in Hull with the Stingrays in the Elite League.

A word from Tony Hand in 2010 saw the hard working forward move across the Pennines to Altrincham. A very successful season at the Dome, picking up a Championship medal and inclusion in the All Star first team was followed by him re-signing and being given an “A” by coach Hand for the 2011 season.

James’s list of honours so far in his career include World Junior Championship Gold medals at under 18 and under 20 levels, two Elite League Championship medals, an Elite League Knockout Cup winners medal and an EPL Championship medal.

James said of his return to the Dome for another year: “It is great to be back for Phoenix for another year. I really enjoyed last season and getting the “A” was a great honour and I did my best to live up to the expectations of the role. Niggly injuries probably meant I did not put up the numbers I wanted to in the season but I will continue to do my best for the team and the great fans.”

Tony Hand had this to say about James’ s return: “James matured as a player last year. People forget he is only 23 and he did a great job with the “A”. He is great in the dressing room and shows loads of effort and desire every week. He is in great shape and I am pleased to have him back with the team.”

James Archer

James Archer

Steve Fone

Steve Fone

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