Phoenix trialists shortlisted

Thursday, 26th June 2003

Eight of the local northwest region players who trailed with the Manchester Phoenix recently have been short listed for further consideration by head coach Rick Brebant.

Goalies Dave Clancy and Rick Ashton together with defencemen Russ Richardson and Mark Thomas will be joined by forwards Jason Hewitt, Billy Price, Brian Worrall and Marc Lovell in on-going player selection evaluations.

Brebant, speaking from Canada commented, “I liked what I saw from these guys but, to play at the level the Phoenix will play at, they will need to be stronger and better conditioned. To that aim and with the help of Paul Bayliss, they will shortly begin an intensive programme designed to improve their stamina, strength and all-round conditioning. It’s not an easy programme, but then nothing in life comes easy. I’m sure they will respond to the challenge ahead of them.”

Former Altrincham Aces coach Paul Bayliss added, “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for all the players and I feel they are going to have to step up two levels to compete. Altrincham now has no rink so the obvious upside is that they have somewhere to play and something to aim for and they would be playing at a standard far superior to anything they have played previously. There is no downside other than commitment and to play or work in a professional manner you have to have commitment.”

Phoenix spokesman Andy Costigan noted, “It’s great to have these eight players to work with for the future, as well as couple more who we intend to keep close tabs on. In addition, we still have other home grown players contacting us, so the pool deepens.”