Sebastian leaves Phoenix

Monday, 10th November 2003

Manchester Phoenix head coach Rick Brebant’s pleasure at his teams tremendous 7-2 mauling of the Belfast Giants was tempered as he announced that defenceman Jeff Sebastian had played his last game for the Phoenix this season.

Sebastian advised the Phoenix management ten days ago that he had received an offer to play for Italian club EV Bruneck and requested his release. Brebant remarked, “Naturally, I’m a little disappointed that Jeff is leaving, I brought him in here to be my number two and he was very keen to come back to Manchester. He signed a two-year contract with the club and so next season, we have first refusal on his playing rights.”

The Phoenix coach continued, “However, I’ve always said that if a player receives an offer from a club in a league that is of a higher standard or level of play as our Elite League, or that the player is in a position to earn substantially better money – I would not stand in his way. Jeff believes that this move to Italy fulfils both those criteria and so I wish him well. We asked him to stay for this weekend’s game against Belfast and he did and actually had a very solid game shutting down one of their top players and scoring three assists on the night. It’s a shame he’s leaving, but that’s life and we have to re-double our efforts to find a replacement on defence.”

Sebastian advised, “It was a hard decision to make to leave Manchester and Rick, especially as results have started to go the teams way. The club have been very understanding and I want to thank them for everything. It’s tough to leave but I have my soon-to-be-larger family to consider and that was a big factor. I leave Monday and play my first game against Bolzano on Tuesday.”

Brebant confirmed that the Phoenix have made a contract offer on a new forward and are keeping their fingers crossed for a positive outcome of negotiations early this coming week. He noted, “we’ve talked with the agent, done our research on the player and I am hopeful that he will sign and be with the team when we travel to Basingstoke next Saturday. Our priority now is to find a defenceman and try to get him here in time for the weekend. It’s not easy though, there are not of players available, so we will have to work very hard and smart this week.”

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