In with the old, and in with the new

Thursday, 14th June 2012

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix are pleased to announce another two players to their roster. Utility player Ben Wood put pen to paper for another year in Phoenix colours and British forward Andy McKinney joined the club from Elite League club Hull Stingrays.

21 year old Andy McKinney was born in Ontario, Canada, but came through the British junior system before making his debut as a 15 year old in the GB under 19 league with Flintshire Avalanche. He then went over to Canada and played a season in the WHA Junior A hockey league for Squamish Cougars. However that league found itself in trouble and Andy came back across the pond and signed for Telford Tigers and their U-18 side, the Trojans. On the move again, Andy played 2009-10 season for the Trafford Metros and donned Phoenix colours eight times during that year.

Telford Tigers were again to avail themselves of Andy’s services in 2010-11 and for the first couple of months of the following season. Hull Stingrays showed interest in him during that season and after requesting his release, he played 42 games in the Elite League for Hull, scoring 4 goals and racking up 107 penalty minutes.

Six foot, 190 lbs McKinney is a tough uncompromising young forward who will not back down from anybody and will bring toughness and grit to the Phoenix line-up in the coming season.

Andy dropped into the club offices and had this to say about signing for Phoenix: “I spent the last two seasons with bottom end clubs and I wanted a challenge, playing with a bigger club. Of course, no disrespect meant to either Telford or Hull. When I found out Hull were not keeping me on, I was really pleased to get a call from Tony Hand. I thought about it over a weekend and decided to sign up. I play a physical game and hopefully I can help Phoenix to some trophies next season.”

Coach Hand: “Andy will be an excellent addition to the team. He skates well and is not scared to drop the gloves if the situation warrants it. He is a different type of player than we have had previously but I think we now need Andy’s physical type of game on the roster.”

24yr old Macclesfield utility player Ben Wood has committed to another year in Phoenix colours. Ben started his senior career at Deeside, playing for the Freeze in the ENL and the Avalanche in the GB under 19 league in 2005 and 2006. After a third season with the Freeze he moved to the Phoenix ENL team and played up twice for Phoenix in the Elite League. Ben completed three seasons icing for Phoenix in 169 games, and was a part of the championship winning team in 2010-11.

This will be Ben’s 5th year with the team and his versatility and ability to play both forward and defence makes him an important part of the squad.

Ben was quoted as saying: ”When Tony asked me to come back, it was a no brainer. The location is perfect, it is a great club with a really good locker room atmosphere. I had no hesitation in coming back for another season.”

Coach Hand had this to say about Ben’s return: “Ben had his best season for the club last year and, as a player who can play both defence and forward, he is an integral part of our squad. He grew in confidence last season and I thought he did very well. His fitness is second to none and his growing maturity has also made him a great asset in the locker room. Very pleased to have him back.”

Ben Wood

Ben Wood

Sign up for the Phoenix Newsletter

Manchester Phoenix Community Sports Foundation

Join our 200 Club