Fox looking round for Brit talent

2021-22 Playoff Finals Weekend
Aaron Fox, Sheffield Steelers (Image: Dean Woolley)

Sheffield Steelers coach Aaron Fox says he’s looking at bringing in British talent across the country to help them if the proposed mini league goes ahead.

With the whole Elite League indefinitely suspended, the five English teams could yet go ahead in a mini format as they look to secure public funding to keep things afloat.

And Fox reckons the players of teams who can’t or won’t play in a shortened campaign would be considered to give them some work in an otherwise barren season.

“Those five teams (aiming to play) would be able to pull in some Brits from around the league that maybe are not going to play elsewhere,” he told Sheffield Star.

“There would be 100% players from places like Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and those guys will be down looking for jobs, both Brits and imports.”

The rivalry between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers could be resumed in a shortened English-only campaign (PHOTO: Panthers Images)

The Government has dangled a £4m opportunity to Sheffield Steelers, Nottingham Panthers, Coventry Blaze, Manchester Storm and Guildford Flames to play, with the condition that there is play to obtain the funds.

It is understood ice hockey is on the list of sports to be decided upon on 15 January, so the five teams in England are all in the application process at the time of writing.

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The other five teams’ had to seek funding from their devolved governments, despite the EIHL making the application as a united body.  The three Scottish clubs have confirmed they all won’t play in any capacity in 2020/21.

If all final covid-safety obstacles be overcome and negotiations are concluded to everyone’s satisfaction, the publicly-funded tournament could begin in February.

However, with new lockdown measures announced by all governments on Monday, it is unclear how this will affect any possible preparations.

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