Phoenix appoint Tony Hand to Director of Hockey role

Tuesday, 16th January 2007

The Manchester Phoenix are delighted to confirm that Tony Hand MBE will be staying with the club having agreed terms to a new two-year contract, and with a new title.

Phoenix Managing Director Neil Morris noted, "For myself, this was quite a simple decision to ask Tony to stay with the club, and on a longer contract as Director of Hockey. Tony has been honourable and acted with great integrity since he joined us and I greatly respect those attributes in him."

Morris continued, "He has stood shoulder to shoulder with us throughout the hardships of the rink delays and that speaks volumes for his character and furthermore, he has built and coached a team that reached a semi-final in its first season and is in the top half of the table as we speak."

Hand remarked, "Even with the difficulties of not yet having the home rink and travelling to training and every game, I've thoroughly enjoyed this season, it's been good. The team has steadily improved and once we're in the new building, I can see improvements for the club not only on the ice but in the commercial business side too. I can see the new rink in Altrincham being a big success and we have fantastic support from our fans. Neil has put a tremendous effort into this venture and I'm delighted to be part of it for the future."

Phoenix GM Andy Costigan added, "The three of us work really well together, we talk and discuss matters, and then we just get on with what needs doing. Tony has done a great job in difficult circumstances and when Neil asked me for my opinion I had no hesitation is recommending that we try and retain Tony on a longer-term contract. I believe this appointment will be a massive springboard for our whole club as to have Tony on board gives ice hockey in Manchester at all levels a huge boost of confidence for the future."

Morris closed saying, "The team that Tony has built this season has already won praise for the entertaining brand of hockey he aspires to and the excitement provided already. The future will see us selling tickets for a full seat, but I would suggest the fans be ready to only use the edge of it."