Phoenix parade their new shirts and announce two more players

Sunday, 3rd August 2014

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix put their new shirts on parade at the Cresta Court Hotel on Sunday, giving a large crowd their first glimpse of next season’s colours.

The event, hosted by Anna and Jake, began with the introduction of various members of the Phoenix Foundation, including players from the Sledge Hockey Team, The Ladies’ Hockey team and the Manchester Minotaurs’ newest acquisition, Mike Gilbert. 

Tony Hand was asked about the recruiting and he commented:

“Things are going well and the new additions will bring another dimension to the team. We have another British lad to announce and I am still looking around for an import defender to complete the roster. I think we have the squad to give a real go at defending our title. Make no mistake, the league will be the toughest yet and we are all ready for the challenge.”

Tony was also asked if he was going to play this season and he replied:

“I will not play as much as last year. I need to step back and give the youngsters a chance. It is important for British hockey that we do all we can to bring them forward.  No matter what, this will be my last season. I will definitely retire next April and concentrate on coaching the club and working with the other coaches to ensure the future of Manchester Phoenix.”

Neil Morris was asked if he played an active role in the recruiting process. He commented:

“I leave the recruiting to Tony. All I ask every year is that we put a team on the ice that will excite, entertain and have aggression and speed. He has never let me down.”

The shirts for the coming season were modelled by various players and staff and a home shirt was presented to J Davidson for their continued support of the team as headline sponsors again next season.

The club also announced experienced forward Shaun Thompson as joining the ranks and defender Joe Graham returning to the Dome for another season.

Shaun, 27, was born in Slough and played for his home town Jets in the under 19 league in 2001 and 2002 before signing a two way contract in 2003 with the Basingstoke bison of the Elite League. He still found time to score 34 goals in 18 games for the Junior Jets. That season was completed with appearances for the GB under 18 and under 20 teams in the World Junior Championships.

In 2005 and 2006 he shared his ice time with the Bison in the Elite League and Bracknell Bees in the English Premier League. A permanent move to the Bees followed and he had his best season to date with 24 goals and 25 assists in 41 games. After another season at the Hive he moved back down the road to Basingstoke for another year. Hull was his next port of call where he played 41 games and again travelled to Basingstoke for a further 19 games.

His home town came calling in 2010 and he had a full season with the Slough Jets before moving a few miles down the M4 back to Bracknell for seasons 2011, 2012 and 2013.

He has now moved north up the M6 to ice for league champions Manchester Phoenix bringing a wealth of league experience to the Dome. Shaun has iced in 203 Elite League games and 366 EPL matches finding the net 183 times. He has picked up gold and bronze medals in the Under 20 World Junior Championships to go with his clean sweep of Championship, Cup and Play Off winners medals in the EPL.

Shaun had this to say to press officer Jim Piper at the shirt launch:

“I have heard great things about the Phoenix organisation and I just thought it was about time I played somewhere I will have a good chance of winning trophies. It did not take me too long to sign after talking to Coach Hand. What a fantastic turnout tonight for the shirt launch by the fans. I am really looking forward to playing for them “

Tony Hand commented:

“Shaun will be a great asset to the team. He is a proven goal scorer and also has a physical edge to his play. He will fit in well with the squad for this year.”

24 year old Nottingham-born defender Joe Graham has signed for another year with Phoenix after helping the team to a Championship medal last time out.

Joe, son of GB netminder Dave Graham, has a wealth of experience for a 24 year old, having iced over 300 games in the English Premier League for a plethora of clubs. He started off in 2005 with games for the Solihull Barons in the EPL. That season he also iced for Solihull Sabres and Sheffield Rapiers in the Under 16 League and a handful of games for the Sheffield Steelhawks in the Under 19 League. The following season saw him consolidate his place on the Barons team and earn a call up to the GB under 18 squad for the World Junior Championships. In 2007 he was picked up by home club Nottingham Panthers and also played for the Nottingham Lions in the English National League. GB came calling again, this time for the under 20 side at the World Championships. Joe then moved on a two way deal with Manchester Phoenix where he iced in 51 games and a single appearance for the Panthers.

Joe then tried his hand down south with Guildford Flames for a season before moving across country to the Peterborough Phantoms, where he stayed for two seasons before being brought back up to Manchester by Coach Hand.

Joe commented on his re-signing:

“It is great to be back for another season. I had a great time last year and winning the league was just brilliant. The organisation and the fans are great to play for and I am looking to win more trophies with Phoenix”

Coach Hand said:

“Joe had a great second half of the season last year and worked hard every shift. I think he will be even better this time out as we look to defend our title.”

Player Profiles

2014-15 Home Shirt (Front)

The Home Shirt

2014-15 Home Shirt (Back)

The Home Shirt

2014-15 Away Shirt (Front)

The Away Shirt

2014-15 Away Shirt (Back)

The Away Shirt

2014-15 Home Cup Shirt (Front)

The Cup Home Shirt

2014-15 Home Cup Shirt (Back)

The Cup Home Shirt

2014-15 Away Cup Shirt (Front)

The Cup Away Shirt

2014-15 Away Cup Shirt (Back)

The Cup Away Shirt

2014-15 Warm-up Shirt (Front)

The Warm-up Shirt

2014-15 Warm-up Shirt (Back)

The Warm-up Shirt