Tony Hand keeps the faith

Monday, 13th April 2015

Tony Hand MBE wants Manchester Phoenix supporters to “keep the faith” as he looks to build a title-chasing squad for the 2015/16 campaign.

Manchester’s Premier League Ice Hockey team reached the finals of both the British Challenge Cup and EPL play-offs last season, despite a string of lengthy injuries to key players.

Concerns about the club’s future ended last week, when owner Neil Morris stepped into negotiations with the EIHA and secured a place in the EPL for next season.

And following that agreement with league bosses, Phoenix Head Coach Tony Hand has pledged to remain with the club - and he’s 100% behind Neil Morris’s plans for the Future.

Hand said: “Neil and I have worked very hard at building a great club for over eight years. We have an excellent reputation and a very good relationship. This club has the opportunity once again to be one of the biggest in the country.

“I played at the arena in 1997, when over 17,000 people watched a single game, so the potential in this city is massive. I want the Phoenix faithful to come together and help support a team that has such good heritage and a great future. The whole of Manchester needs to keep the faith.

“Neil’s help over the years has been critical, both to me personally and the organisation itself. Over the last week, he has shown just how much this club, and the city as a whole, means to him.

“Now it is all about what we can do to challenge for trophies. Last season ended on a high when we reached both the British Challenge Cup final and play-off final, but I don’t want to finish second. Our fans feel the same way, so this summer will be very interesting.”

Red Hockey’s support is expected to give Hand the tools he needs to help build the squad for next season.

The previous year saw the Phoenix win their second EPL title, and the club is expected to benefit from being part of the Red Hockey family.

“We have already got a very, very good set of players here and I feel last season we were just hindered by injuries and a short bench,” Hand said.

“The guys we have signed so far will be part of a Manchester Phoenix investment to build a squad for the future that can rebuild expectations.

”We have challenged for silverware every season, next year will be a new era for me, so let’s make it a special one together.”

Tony Hand acknowledges the fans at the end of the game

Tony Hand
(Image: Yolanda Amor Allan)

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