Phoenix boost roster with two signings

Manchester Phoenix have confirmed the signing of Czech forward Martin Baranek.

Head Coach Tony Hand has been on the hunt for a new import following the departure of Nico Aaltonen during December.

Baranek moves to Manchester from HC Most in Czech 2, after playing for Slovan Usti nad Labem earlier in the season.

The 24-year-old progressed through the Slovan Ustecti Lvi youth system and went onto represent the club at senior level in the Czech second tier.

He also iced alongside Robin Kovar during the 2011-12 season and the two players will be looking to renew their partnership in the EPL in the coming weeks.

Hand commented: “Martin will bring some much needed energy to our forward lines – he competes hard every night and skates well. He primarily plays on the wing but can play any situation and I’m looking forward to seeing him develop with the Phoenix.”

Baranek becomes second signing this week following the announcement that forward Phil Hamer has rejoined the club.

The former Phoenix junior player made his debut for the club in the Elite League during the 2007-08 season. He went onto make eight appearances during two seasons, before moving abroad and playing ice hockey in Spain.

Hamer has also been a regular member of the Great Britain inline team, playing alongside Phoenix forward James Archer at last summer’s World Championships in Finland, where GB claimed a bronze medal.

Hand added: “We’ve been struggling with injuries recently, and we can’t afford to ice only two forward lines for the rest of the season at this level.

“Phil knows what it takes to be successful – he’s been training with us for the last few weeks and I’m confident that he’ll contribute a great deal to the team.”

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