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Two new 'Czech mates' join Steeldogs

After a long search and a lot of work, the Bradfield Brewery Sheffield Steeldogs have signed two new imports who will be in the line-up for the 2019/20 National Division season.

The Dogs welcome two forwards who are both from the Czech Republic, Vladimir Luka and Jan Danecek.

Vladimir started out playing for Havirov and moved round teams in the Czech leagues, scoring goals wherever he played. In 2009 he moved to Poland for 3 of the next 4 seasons before returning to his homeland. He spent last season back with Zaglebie Sosnowiec in Poland where he was top scorer, ahead of Tomas Kana who has recently signed for MK.

Jan played his junior hockey in Trinec before moving to Canada aged 18. After time with Victoriaville and Shawinigan he returned home playing mostly for Havirov. He has spent the last five seasons in Poland, playing for Unia Oswiecim where he was regularly one of the team’s top scorers.

Steeldogs coach Ben Morgan is happy with the qualities his two new ‘Czech mates’ bring;
“Vladimir has a lot of experience to share with the team, as you’d imagine with a 37 year old, and we are seeing other teams signing even older guys at the moment. As we know we are going to have bags of youth on the roster, we need some older heads and having a couple of more experienced forwards will pay dividends. Vladimir will be a real go-to player next season, he is a skilled forward who certainly knows where the back of the net is, he is someone who we will look to put good numbers up throughout the season.

“He reminds me of a Peter Slamiar (former Scimitars legend) type of player; his touch around the net is great and his ability to open up the play and find himself in a goal scoring opportunity is similar to ‘Slammy’. From the footage I’ve seen and the information I’ve got from coaches, he seems like a genuine marksman.

“Jan again will bring a lot to the offence and will be a slightly more aggressive, hard hitting guy but someone who has really good hands. He has posted good numbers over the past five years and those who have played against him have spoken highly of him. Jan is very excited about coming over to England to play in this league and at 33 he brings a lot of hockey knowledge to the team. He is a play maker but I expect him to be a scoring threat as well. He will strike up a good chemistry with his new line mates and I see Jan as being a bit of a gem for this season.”

The signing of Vladimir and Jan is the conclusion of a lot of work for Morgs;
“It has been difficult searching for two new imports. I have had coaches and agents contacting me directly, so many players offered to us. Firstly, I had to decide what type of players we were looking for to compliment the squad; it’s alright picking a player who has scored a certain amount of goals or notched so many points over the past few years, but he needs to be the right role player who can bring something to the team. Both of the new imports have great experience to bring as they have played against good quality opposition. We are delighted to have secured their services and excited to see them on the ice with the Steeldogs!”

Both guys have sent messages for the Steeldogs fans:
“I’m looking forward to being a part of the Steeldogs. I believe I will be able to benefit our young team this season” - Vladimir

“I am very happy that I can play for the Steeldogs this season. I cannot wait to see you guys! I will do everything for the team to make sure we finish the league in a good place...maybe first? I hope so! I hope we’ll enjoy the time together like a real team. I believe that we can do it but we have to play like a team not like individuals - that’s the first point of success. I am not a big guy but I play with a big heart on the me I will score some goals also!” - Jan

Welcome to Sheffield Vladimir and Jan!

Vladimir will wear the #94 jersey and we are grateful to MAC Construction Consultants who will be his player sponsors. We thank them for their continued support of the Steeldogs.

Jan will be our #7 and we are pleased to introduce Northern Groundcare who will be sponsoring him. A big welcome to the Steeldogs family to them.

You can own one of their game-worn jerseys – and receive it in time for Christmas. For just £75 you can Own and Loan the light or dark Luka #94 jerseys or the light Danecek #7. Please email [email protected] if you’re interested.

Jan and Vladimir will line up with Ashley Calvert, James Spurr, Charlie Thompson, Nathan Salem, Cam Brownley, Jack Brammer, Reece Cochrane, Tim Smith, Lewis Bell, Ben Morgan, Tom Barry, Curtis Warburton, Zack Brown and Dmitri Zimozdra in the 2019/20 Steeldogs squad.

And still there are more players to announce this week!

Don’t forget – Friday is the deadline for getting a Steeldogs 2019/20 season ticket with the early bird discount. This is the best way to see EVERY home game this year including pre-season, league and playoffs. Find all the details here:

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Roger Williams

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