J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix have signed up their starting and back up netminders for the new season.
26 year old Yorkshireman Stephen Fone has put pen to paper for a fifth consecutive season in Phoenix colours and will be the club’s starting netminder. Stephen followed up his league winner’s medal in 2010-11 with a play off champions gong last season. Despite missing half the season with a serious injury, Stephen came back just before the play offs began and back-stopped the team to their first play off championship.
Fone has played over 200 games in the English Premier League and also has experience in the Elite league with Coventry Blaze and Basingstoke Bison.
Coach Hand had this to say about Stephen’s return: “Stephen is one of the best netminders in the league and we missed him during his long lay-off. It was great to see him on top form in the play offs and it is very good to have him back on board.”
Stephen said: “Last season was frustrating with the injury and it was great to come back and take part in the play offs. It was a fantastic feeling winning the trophy and hopefully I can steer clear of injuries next season and pick up more silverware.”
Every netminder needs a back up and this was certainly proved last season with Stephen Fone’s injury. Jorge El-Hage stepped up to the plate and Phoenix are delighted to announce he will once again be the back up netminder for the club.
Local lad Jorge, 19, born in Littleborough, has been a part of the Phoenix organisation since 2008. He played for Phoenix juniors at under 16 and under 18 level and had a season with the Trafford Metros before signing as back up for Phoenix in 2011.
Jorge saw some major ice time last season stepping in for the injured Stephen Fone for 17 games. He earned his first senior shut out against Milton Keynes in his first weekend standing in and soon became a popular figure with the Faithful.
Coach Tony Hand commented on the young netminder: “Jorge stepped in at a difficult time in the season and did a good job. He will have learned a lot and grown in confidence with the ice time. It is an apprenticeship and a huge learning curve. I am hoping to get Jorge more ice time this season.”
Jorge said on Phoenix TV: “It was a fantastic experience playing in these games and I loved every minute of it. Stephen helps me in training and I am learning all the time. The play off win was an experience I will never forget and hope to win more with the team.”