Heavey takes the Phoenix helm

Wednesday, 28th April 2004

Glasgow born Paul Heavey, who joined the Manchester Phoenix late last season to aid their playoff drive, has been confirmed as the new head coach of the club for season 2004-05.

Phoenix Managing Director Neil Morris announced shortly before departing on holiday, “Paul and I have had lengthy discussions and I’m delighted to confirm that he will be back with the Phoenix next season. Paul came in and did a great job last season, and I’m looking forward to working with him in his first full season in charge of all team affairs. Paul has a proven track record from his time with Cardiff and indeed in Ayr, and is keen to prove himself in Manchester after getting us to a semi-final place last season.”

Heavey commented, “I was keen to get back into hockey last season and my appetite for success has been whetted again. I’m excited about returning to Manchester, it’s a great opportunity and last season re-fuelled my desire. The fans and the people within the club are passionate for the game and that sparks me, they are keen to grow hockey in Manchester and I’m pleased to be a part of it again for the coming season.”

He continued, “Recruitment is a key element and I already have thoughts as to what kind of players I want to see in a Phoenix uniform. I will be talking to some of last year’s squad about possibly returning as well as searching for new talent. It’s still early and right now, my work is collating information, and studying the budget plans and projections to ensure we get the most we can from the finances available. I like my teams to concentrate on strong, rugged defence and then strike with speed and tenacity. We showed those elements last season, but not consistently enough. This year, we need to get those attributes going right off the bat and work for each other, every shift, every game.”

Heavey closed saying, “The Elite League was very competitive last year and now with three British coaches in Paul Thompson, Tony Hand and myself, there will be a little extra incentive for everyone to battle that bit harder. I’m looking forward to the challenge and I know the fans will get right behind us as they did last season.”