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Tony Hand thrilled with response to Supporters Trust appeal

Wednesday, 9th December 2015

Manchester Phoenix’s legendary Coach Tony Hand has revealed his gratitude at the response from the UK hockey community following the formation of a Supporters Trust in order to guarantee the club’s future.

To help fund the team for the remainder of the season, the Phoenix have created a new Supporters Trust to give fans the opportunity to secure the club’s future ahead of a return to Manchester for next season.

After the Supporters Trust was formed at the weekend, commitments from both Phoenix fans and further afield have already started to come in, and Coach Hand couldn’t be happier:

“The Supporters Trust is a great idea as it allows the fans to play a crucial role in the club’s future but we need additional funding to get through to the summer.  The fans have been fantastic and I’ve never once thought about running away, as both Neil and I have put so much into this club.  Any help from Phoenix fans or those from other clubs is hugely appreciated.

“The situation over the summer in moving ice rinks was never going to be ideal, as many fans who would love to attend games haven’t been able to.  However, we’ve still had great crowds at Deeside, and we’ve had a huge amount of support from the Deeside community and the Council.

“I’ve seen all of the plans and there’s a huge amount of work going into the new ice rink in Manchester, and we have to be there from next season in order to survive.

“The guys are staying positive, and our long-term aim is to win trophies again but it won’t happen overnight.  We have a strong fan base and want to build on it; Manchester is a huge catchment area so I’m sure that the new rink will be a great success.”

Tony also had some words for the Sheffield Steeldogs; Saturday’s visitors in the newly entitled ‘Smeltdown’, aptly named just for this series as the Phoenix are playing out of Shotton a very famous Iron Foundry in its day: “Sheffield is a great organisation, and it’s fantastic to see how many of their fans have pledged to turn out on Saturday evening.  Since I’ve been involved in ice hockey, so many clubs have struggled financially, but the hockey community always come together to support each other.

“We’ve got two home games this weekend so we’re hopeful of decent crowds which will really help.”

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Tony Hand

Tony Hand


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