The Angry Budgie Live

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Phoenix Rising - Part 2 Fone & Ryan

The Phoenix have done well, so far, with their player announcements with most catching many people off guard. The latest announcement has done it once again! 

Phoenix Press Release

The Phoenix welcome Steve Fone back for his 6th year with the Manchester Phoenix, the 2-time title winning goaltender will be back between the pipes to help the Phoenix retain their EPL crown. Joining him and, a bit of a shock, will be ex Tigers stopper Declan Ryan. Ryan, a local lad, is returning to his hometown club after 4 seasons in Shropshire. An awesome goaltending duo! 

Steve Fone 
The 2013/14 vintage Steve Fone was a return to form and excellent performances. It feels like Fone has been around the Phoenix for ages and, is easy to forget he is only 26! Last season saw Fone win his third major title with the Phoenix, his second league championship. Only missing one game Fone posted a GAA of just 2.8, which is 0.05 off his best in the EPIL of 2.75 recorded in the 2010-11 season when the Phoenix won their first EPL title. The GAA only bettered, on the last day of the season, by Stevie Lyle. Fone has recovered from his shoulder injury and, is more or less, back to his best. Fone is one of the best goaltenders in the EPL and it is important that the Phoenix can keep a hold of him for many years to come. 

Declan Ryan 
I am a big big big fan of this guy! One of, if not the main, reason why the Tigers had a chance to win games (prior to their new money). Ryan has helped the Tigers through their return to EPL hockey and become a firm fan favourite in Shropshire. He would single handily stand on his head in games in the Ice Dome and frustrate the Phoenix no end. So, to hear he had signed for his hometown team, many of us Phoenix fans are deliriously happy! Ryan is only 21 and, his 2013/14 season was his best in the EPL with just 3.35 goals scored against. He may be in the back-up position but, I think we will see Ryan play a good proportion of games and push Fone for starts. He will also relish the opportunity to learn from Fone. You never know, Ryan may become the Phoenix no.1 given time! 

The Phoenix rebuild continues apace and keeps surprising us with each announcement!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Phoenix Rising - Part 2 Frankie & Adam

After the Phoenix had shocked most of the fanbase by announcing Kovar's return to the Phoenix, the anticipation for the next big player announcement was huge. Who would it be? Another import? One or two players? An obvious returnee? Well, the Phoenix did it once again, another shock delivered with the news that Frantisek Bakrlim would be returning for his second season with the Phoenix and.....the return of a former Phoenix player Adam Walker. Two more shocks, but good ones it has to be said! 

Phoenix Press Release
Frantisek Bakrlik
The announcement that Bakrlik was returning did surprise quite a lot of people, there was much talk that he would follow Koulikov to the Peterborough Phantoms or even, possibly, Europe. But, the man with an epic slapshot and some of the best hands in the business was coming back to Altrincham. Frankie missed a few games last season and, had he played the full 54, would easily have had his best season of his career. I have been very impressed with Frankie after his first season so am looking forward to what he can do next season. In terms of the Phoenix, it's another big returnee and another solid player in the Phoenix roster build. 

Adam Walker
Adam is a player familiar to those Phoenix fans who first started following the team in the EIHL. After one season in the EPL with the Phoenix, where he put up the most points, by a country mile, in his career he left to continue his dream of playing in the EIHL. Signing for a club closer to home in the Braehead Clan. Over his three seasons in Scotland Adam continued his production at a similar level to that seen in Altrincham with the Phoenix. After three seasons Adam returned to the EPL and joined the, newly moneyed, Telford Tigers. Back in the EPL his scoring got going again and he ended the season scoring just over a point per game. 

Frankie coming back was a surprise, Walker even more so. We know what we are getting in Bakrlik and, if put on either the first or second lines with Tony or Robin on centre Bakrlik will terrorise defence and score a truck load of points again this coming season. Walker, his return is even more surprising but, talk is of the Phoenix being a better fit for his off the ice interests. Like Frankie, if paired with a top centreman Adam will be one of the top forwards in the EPL. 

Welcome home gentlemen!