Make some noise for Stanislav Gron

Wednesday, 22nd July 2015

Stanislav Gron was lured to The Phoenix by the prospect of playing in front of a capacity crowd in the English Premier League next season.

The 36-year-old, who was drafted by NHL side New Jersey Devils in 1997, became the Manchester club's second import signing this week.

He joins a Phoenix side that will play out of Deeside Ice Rink next year, before it moves to a new 3,000-seater arena in Manchester.

But after appearing in front of relatively small crowds in Italy last year, the centreman is looking forward to the prospect of a packed-out rink at Chester Road.

He said: "I enjoyed my time in Italy and although we didn't get big crowds, the fans made a lot of noise. I have been told a lot about The Phoenix supporters and they also make a lot of noise.

"I am really looking forward to playing in front of them and helping the guys challenge for trophies. That is why I'm here.

"When I spoke to Tony about coming to The Phoenix, one of the first things he mentioned was the supporters. They are the reason why this club exists and I can't wait to see them in full voice."

Gron's NHL career was cut short after just one game in 2001, but he went on to enjoy a successful spell in his native Slovakia, winning the Extraliga on three occasions.

"I have been on some good teams, but the players around me have been very good as well," he added.

"It would have been nice to play more games in the NHL, but it was still a great experience for me. Hopefully, the club and the fans will enjoy the way I play the game."

At 6'2", Gron is likely to offer a physical presence for The Phoenix next season, as well as filling an important role up front.

That is likely to make him popular with fans, who are set to pack out Deeside Ice Rink on a weekly basis.

He said: "My role at The Phoenix is to score goals, but like any player, I will stand up for myself. Spending time in the penalty box is no good for the team, so I try to avoid it.

"The supporters are going to enjoy a great season and I want to be part of it."

Neil Morris, owner of The Phoenix, is predicting a high-scoring campaign from Gron.

He said: "Tony has set out this season to have a well-balanced team out on the ice for us.

"He is looking to combine experienced, talented individuals with youthful flare and energy on every shift. This is something I know he discussed at great length with Gron before pen was ever put to paper.

"We have had players at our team play on the right and shoot left before, but none probably as talented as this guy. He is a well-rounded individual who brings a variety of sharp tools to every job.

"He is already on the page of my coach which is a good asset. I think he will fit in great with our organisation and like many, I can't wait to see him giving the opposition goaltenders' water bottle air."

Stanislav Gron

Stanislav Gron

Manchester Phoenix Supporters Club

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