Neil Abel joins Steeldogs coaching staff

Sheffield Steeldogs MD Tony Smith has confirmed that former Steelers assistant coach Neil Abel will be joining Steeldogs coaching staff with immediate effect.

It won’t be the first time the two have worked together as Smith explained “Neil is a trusted member of the hockey community in Sheffield and was on our coaching staff when I became Steelers owner some 13 years ago. I have often called on his services throughout my tenure and are happy to do so again now.

“Neil is also familiar with the set up at Ice Sheffield having been involved with the Scimitars as head coach some years ago. All in all, we have added a good hockey man to our off ice team.”

Smith went on to explain recent happenings at the club “this first year was always going to be a difficult period with us coming in late in the summer when the club needed saving to ensure its survival and continuance at the National League level. I think I have said before that it reminded me of when we first were involved with the Steelers over a decade ago. These are big clubs that need time to turn around and head in a new direction.

“With the Steelers we asked for trust from the fans and received it in bucket loads, whilst we then had little experience in running a hockey club the people at the Steelers knew we had good intentions and the club at heart.

“This time with the Dogs we have experience in everything we have done over the road at the arena, I think the fans there will tell you that it turned out ok, their fan experience and product of hockey they are watching have both improved considerably. We intend the same for the Dogs and their supporters.

“With the Dogs it is a double approach, we want a fast, exciting and winning side but also, we want to encourage youth to come up to the Dogs and through into the Steelers and the National programme.

“Therefore, there will be change both on and off the ice, we want to add the Steelers work ethic, experience and professional DNA into the Dogs programme and create a pathway for those youngsters in the academy

“I understand that it is sometimes hard for fans to accept change, but I give you my word that we have the clubs best interest at heart here to create a long term project that they can support and be proud of”