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!
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.
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!