Phoenix recruitment update

Wednesday, 14th June 2006

With a solid start to recruiting under his belt, Manchester Phoenix head coach Tony Hand has spoken about the current status of player negotiating.

“I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made so far,” commented Hand from his Edinburgh home. “we’ve had a lot of direct contact from players as well as agents and we’re continuing the research in a steady fashion.”

He added, “Signing the three British lads was a great start and the pick-up of Derek Campbell and Mike Sandbeck has given us two solid and experienced players, and raised the profile of the club and our ambitions. But, it’s still early June and some of the leagues around the world have only just completed their post seasons and further potential targets want to rest a while before committing for next season. As a player myself, I can appreciate and understand the need to wind down and gather your thoughts.”

As well as the direct player contact, the Phoenix have received more than expected contact from player agents and the Scot remarked, “as well as the agents we’ve used in previous years, there are new ones coming on stream and that helps widen the scope of our recruiting. We’ve followed up on a number of interesting targets and we’re actively pursuing a couple and we remain optimistic that the combination of a new building, new team and the big city environment of Manchester will prove attractive to the right guys.”

Neatly sidestepping the naming of names Tony Hand closed with, “we have three contract offers out right now and I’m relatively hopeful on all three of them. We’re still interested in signing another couple of British players if possible but, with well over two months to go, we’ll take our time to ensure we get the right character and skill level that we’re seeking to make us a very competitive team."