Kirk and Shudra to get their chance

Sheffield Steelers have confirmed Liam Kirk and Cole Shudra will be full-time members of their Elite League squad next season.

Kirk (above) and Shudra spent the majority of last season in the EPL with Sheffield Steeldogs, but with Steelers’ boss Paul Thompson deciding to release Luke Ferrara from the club the duo will be handed an opportunity to shine.

“Liam Kirk is an exceptional talent and I have to play him,” said Thompson.

“I need to see what a talent he is – it’s the next step of his development as a professional. In making that decision I realised that as much as I loved and respected Luke, him being our 13th forward wasn’t good for any of us.

“Luke totally bought into what we did here and I have no complaints. It’s time he moved on and played a bigger role with another club, get better minutes than he would have here. Everyone at the club wishes him well and all the best.

“I believe though that we have Marcus Rashford waiting in the wings – that’s how highly we think of young Liam if you get my comparison.

“All through his junior career, Liam has been a step ahead, again last year with the Steeldogs in the EPL he led the way.

“I see something very special every day working with him. It will take time I’m sure, but this is a decision I’ve thought long and hard about and as upsetting as it was to do what we have I’m convinced we have made the right decision for the Steelers.

“Both Liam and Cole will be with us full-time next season – no loaning out to lower division sides. Full-time Steelers, every training session and every game. It’s their time.”

(Image permission: Duncan Speirs)

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