Tony Hand has accepted an offer to become the Director of Hockey at Manchester Phoenix.
Hand’s revised role has been developed around the concept of the new Manchester Ice Dome running a special Academy for young and upcoming ice hockey players.
The new Academy will spearhead a new drive for junior development centred around British players in the North West of the country.
Hand will also take over many of the duties that surround the day-to-day activities of the EPL team while building a new junior system from grass roots, based just outside the centre of Manchester.
“I’ve wanted to start with a clean piece of paper, coaching youngsters in British Ice Hockey for many years now,” said Hand.
“The sport is crying out for development and coaches that have my experience should be getting involved.
“I intend to make sure we put Manchester back on the map, while producing some great home grown talent over the years to come.
“Hopefully they will get the chance to play for the Phoenix with up to 14 slots available each season for home-trained British players.
“The advent of the Manchester Ice Dome is probably the most exciting project Neil (Morris) and I have been involved with so far – I’m really looking forward to the next chapter in our partnership. No doubt it will be another big challenge for us both.”
Phoenix owner Morris added: “To be honest I was never going to choose anybody else for the job. Tony has proved his commitment to this organisation over and over again.
“His loyalty to the sport and the club is unquestionable. He has helped me make good decisions for over a decade now and without his support and vision I think I would have left the sport a long time ago.
“Tony is just putting the finishing touches to the squad and should be announcing some more signings over the next few weeks.
“The club itself has been working very hard and is about to announce their meet the players and shirt launch which will see them get the new season well and truly underway.”
(Image permission: Richard Amor Allan)