Brebant encouraged by Phoenix trials

Sunday, 8th June 2003

Manchester Phoenix held their local talent trials on Sunday at the Blackburn Arena and newly appointed Head Coach Rick Brebant came away very happy with the outcome.

"I was pleasantly surprised, no change that - I was delighted with what I saw on two counts", noted Brebant. "To get 23 players on the ice for the trials was excellent, to see the level of effort and commitment those players showed and with no lack of skill was very encouraging for hockey in the region."

Brebant was equally enthused by the reaction of hockey fans that were invited to attend the trials. He added "For close to 200 fans to come and watch trials was superb and the reception they gave me and the players was magnificent. Nobody went home early and at the end of the trial, they enthusiastically applauded all the players back to the locker room. I want to say a massive thanks to all those fans who showed commitment to the future of our club and the game in the region as a whole."

Local coaches Paul Bayliss and Bobby Haig, with Brebant watching from the stands, put the twenty-three players including one who travelled from Nottingham through their paces. "It was only right that the local coaches drill their own players," noted Brebant, they have nurtured them and they know them. "I suggested some of the drills that the players worked too and I was very pleased with the way the players handled themselves."

As a result of the success of Sundays trials, the Phoenix are planning a second session in order to recall those players who made an impression and to include players who were unable to attend the first trial. Brebant commented further, "I liked what I saw from a number of players tonight and I am very keen to run a second session to try some different drills to further evaluate those players who stood out. I am very encouraged by what I saw from the players and what I witnessed from the fans."

Manchester Phoenix Managing Director Neil Morris added, "If I had any doubts about running trials beforehand, they have been well and truly put to bed. Rick is the coach and he will select all the Phoenix playing staff, but I would not be one bit surprised to see players from the Northwest included in our first roster."