Welcome return of two Phoenix stalwarts

Tuesday, 28th May 2013

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix are pleased to announce the re-signing of club captain Luke Boothroyd and alternate captain James Archer for the 2013-14 season.

26 year old Luke, from Huddersfield, has put pen to paper for his sixth season in Phoenix colours.
A product of the Bradford junior system, Luke signed for BNL club Hull Stingrays for the 2003-04 season, playing mainly for the u-19 side, Kingston Predators, making 2 appearances for the senior team. Four further seasons with Hull saw him make his mark in the BNL, EPL and Elite Leagues. He was also recognised by Great Britain at u-18, u-20, and senior level, playing in the World Junior Championships and Division 1 of the World Championships, gaining a gold and a bronze medal. In 2008, he crossed the Pennines to join Manchester Phoenix in the Elite League. The following year, with Phoenix moving to the English Premier League, Luke was given the Captain’s badge.

In 2010-11, the rock steady defender captained Phoenix to their first Championship when they won the English Premier League title. Generally known as a steady, stay at home defender, Luke had an outstanding season last year, scoring a career-best 13 goals, skippering the team to a play off championship and being selected for the League’s All Star First team and represented Great Britain in the World Championships in Hungary.

Luke had this to say about his return to Phoenix: “Phoenix are a great organisation and everything fits for me. Winning the play-offs was just fantastic and we can go on to win more silverware for our fantastic fans.”

Coach Hand commented: “Luke had a brilliant season last time out and I think there is even more to come from him. A great captain both on the ice and in the locker room. I am really pleased to have him back again.”

The club are also delighted to announce that British forward James Archer has signed on the dotted line for a fourth consecutive season.

The popular winger first played in the English Premier League in 2003 with one appearance for the Peterborough Phantoms whilst signed up for the Phantoms junior side. The following season he made the step up and his role was reversed, playing 28 games for the senior side and 8 for the junior Phantoms. In 2005, 31 points for Phantoms gained him recognition from Great Britain and he iced in the World Junior Championships at u-18 and u-20 levels, winning two gold medals. Coventry Blaze of the Elite League noticed this blossoming young talent the following year and called him up to play for them 7 times. Meanwhile, he was having a superb time with the Phantoms, scoring 39 goals in 40 games.  2007-08 saw James split his ice time between Sheffield Scimitars, Peterborough Phantoms and Coventry Blaze, whilst still finding time to represent GB again at u-20 level.

James then found pastures new at Milton Keynes in 2008-09 with the Lightning, returning the following year to his home town to play for the Sheffield Scimitars and icing 7 times for Hull Stingrays on loan.

In 2010, Tony Hand asked him to join the Phoenix and he found success immediately, helping the team to its first ever championship. His exploits earned him the respect of colleagues and fans and, when he re-signed for a second term, Coach Hand made him an alternate captain.

Last season was probably his best ever, scoring 27 goals and 26 assists, including the game-winning penalty shot in the play-off semi final against the Bison. Another superb game in the final against Guildford capped a great season for the young Yorkshireman, picking up a winner’s medal in the play off final.

James is a veteran of over 400 EPL games and his cool head and quick hands make him a great asset to the team and the Phoenix Faithful will be delighted to hear he is back for another year.

James said this on Phoenix TV about his return: “It was an easy decision to play in Phoenix colours again. We had a great season last time out and, but for some injuries, it could have been even better. The fans are the best in the league and it is an honour to play in front of them.”

Coach Hand commented: “James had his best season for us last year and he really stepped up his game. His energy and enthusiasm are first class and once again he will be an integral part of the team.”

James Archer

Archer: Honoured to play in-front of the best fans in the league
(Image: Richard Allan)

Luke Boothroyd

Boothroyd: Wants to win more silverware for our fantastic fans
(Image: Richard Allan)

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