Midweek Signing Update: Captain Phillips back for Steelers

Captain Jonathan Phillips is back for his 15th season with Sheffield Steelers (PHOTO: Rebecca Brain)

Elite League

Sheffield Steelers began their recruitment for 2020-21 with the return of their legendary captain, Jonathan Phillips.

The 37-year-old returns for what will be his 15th season in orange and he insists he’s as motivated as ever to win more after being the only skipper to lift a trophy last season before the season shut down.

He told the Steelers website: “Sheffield is my home and the Steelers are the only club I want to play for” said Phillips “I wake up in the morning still motivated to play this game.

“I love being a part of a team, love the game and most of all love winning, something we have a habit of doing here in Sheffield

“Whilst last season finished on a high winning the cup we still feel there was more to come, certainly in the play offs. 

“This off-season has been strange and will go on being so I guess for a while yet. There is a desire to get back onto the ice, to train, to play and to win again. Whilst that desire remains I want to keep on playing

“The family are settled here, this is home on and off the ice. We have achieved a lot but there is ample more still to do”

One veteran player who has decided to hang up his skates is Jez Lundin of Guildford Flames, who exits the club after 11 years.

Lundin joined the club from Newcastle Vipers in 2009 and won league titles and play-offs during his time in Surrey.

Coach Paul Dixon paid tribute to him by saying: “Jez has been a remarkable representative of this club in different leagues.  No matter what role he was assigned at different times over that stretch, he embraced every ask with the same attitude.

NIHL National League

Peterborough Phantoms announced the return of forward Glenn Billing, who has committed himself to the club for another two seasons.

The 22-year-old, who first joined them in 2016, has became a key player for Slava Koulikov’s side in the recent years and picked up 50 points in 41 games in the season just past.

And Koulikov likened his young star to fellow Brit, who also enjoyed an exemplary season last year.

He said: “Glenny leads by example and reminds me of Luke Ferrara. I said when I worked with Luke, if I could clone him to have nine F’s for my team. So, if I could now, I would clone Glenny too.

“Another important thing is that Glenny wants to continue to improve and develop his game and I’m really happy that he has committed to Phantoms for the next two seasons.”

Callum Boyd is back with Murrayfield Racers (PHOTO: Ian Coyle)

Basingstoke Bison also made a couple of announcements in their netminding department as they confirmed goalies Dan Weller-Evans and Alex Mettam would be return on their End of Season awards video.

NIHL 1 South

It’s been a busy few days in NIHL 1 South as all the teams involved there continue to bolster their rosters, starting with forward Jay Warren, who signed for Oxford City Stars on two-way deal from National League side Swindon Wildcats.

At Streatham, defenceman James Warman agreed to a return for a seventh season with the club, but forward Rhys McCormack has decided to move on after spending the last campaign on a two-way deal with Basingstoke Bison.

Slough Jets announced their netminder Matthew Smital would be returning for another season, while Solent Devils have brought back Elliot Lewis and Chris Cooke returned for Bracknell Hornets.

NIHL 2 South

Haringey Huskies announced their forward Leo Saonchella would be returning for another season.  He scored four points in six games after only signing for them at the start of February, but did enough to secure a deal for next season.

SNL

Murrayfield Racers made it signing number 11 of a busy off season when prolific scorer Callum Boyd confirmed his return to the club.

The 26-year-old scored the winner in the NIHL North Cup final against Whitley Warriors and returns for a third season.

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