Phoenix Finnish dynamo - jets in time

Saturday, 27th September 2003

Finnish forward Petteri Lotila will fly into Manchester this morning – just in time to link up with his new Phoenix team mates as they board the bus for Coventry.

As late as Thursday night and Friday morning, Phoenix staff had fingers crossed awaiting confirmation of Petteri signing and early afternoon saw the signed contract arrive. The front office staff moved into overdrive to complete the arrangements to have the player in Manchester in time for today’s road trip to Coventry.

Head coach Rick Brebant commented, “Petteri’s signing is the culmination of a lot of hard work. We were researching other players when his name came up. We immediately contacted our Finnish sources and in minutes, we had a detailed report on him. We sat down, weighed up all the details we had and all came to the same conclusion. From that moment, it became a race against time. To be fair, the agents and everyone concerned worked hard to get this deal done in the very short time we had and we’re very grateful for their co-operation and assistance.”

Twenty-five year old Petteri Lotila stands 5ft 11ins and is a left-shot centre who can also play the wing positions to some effect. A product of the Lukko Rauma club in the Finnish Elite League, he played last year in Norway with the Stavanger Oilers.

Brebant added, “Petteri is not a huge point scorer, but is a high energy player – a spark plug. One of our Finnish contacts called him “a dynamo” because he works his tail off and puts the opposition under pressure with his style of play, he’ll probably centre our third line in Coventry. He arrives in Manchester about half an hour ahead of Mike Lankshear coming in from Canada and they’ll both have a couple of hours rest before boarding the bus to meet the rest of squad and ride the M6 to Coventry.”

Brebant also confirmed that Jeff Sebastian will have a fitness test with club medical staff ahead of the game and is expected to receive the green light to play.

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