The Angry Budgie Live

Friday, 8 August 2014

The Phoenix Rising - Part 6 Shirt Launch and a few surprises!

The annual trip to the Cresta Court hotel in Altrincham saw the Phoenix release their new shirts for the 14/15 campaign. The event also gave the club the opportunity to announce two player signings at the same time. So, we have new League home/away shirts, Cup home/away shirts and a new warm up shirt. I like the league and warm up shirts, as they show a return to a more simple design than we have been used to from the Phoenix. The cup shirts are a bit more 'out there'. I have never considered buying a cup shirt and......I still wont get one! The home cup shirt is not good, the away is passable as the black drowns out the purple tyre mark!! For me, it'll be either the home or away league shirt again. For the first time in ages I do like the home shirt but, I do like the black/blue we now use for the away shirt alot! Again, it will depend on how they look in person. As for the player announcements, two big surprises! 

Phoenix Press Release

Shaun Thompson: 
Being based up north the Phoenix can suffer in trying to tempt southern based players to sign for up here. Thompson is a player I have admired from afar and, was genuinely surprised when his name was read out and he walked past me! Having played the past few seasons with the Bees, Thompson has always stood out as a star on that roster. So, to capture him and bring him north is a big coup for the Phoenix. Scoring at over a point per game for the Bees, going onto the Phoenix 1st or 2nd line I expect Thompson to have one of his best seasons in his career. I can also see his arrival lifting the other Brit forwards and improving the team as a whole! Welcome to Manchester Shaun! 

Joe Graham:  
This was a name Phoenix fans did not expect to return for the Phoenix. I will be honest, I was one of the Phoenix fans who thought we could improve on Joe. But, he is back for another season and, more importantly, Tony Hand saw enough in him to bring him back! His first half of the season saw him struggle and probably tarnish his overall year but, he did improve in the second half of the season. It is that improvement that Tony saw and warranted another contract. He has the tools to become a solid D man in the EPL, I just hope he irons out the odd silly mistake or dumb play that blighted his 13/14 season. The potential is there and, with Tony taking more of a back seat this year, Joe will benefit from having the extra push from him behind the bench. So, happy to see you back Joe, now go out there and prove the doubters wrong! Including me!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Phoenix Rising - Part 5 One they wanted, One they expected!

Sorry everyone, I must apologise over how long it is taking me to get these post's online. Real life has been in the way over the past few weeks, The Angry Budgie has just been so busy. It has now quietened down a little so I can finally get round to catching up on Phoenix news! Today's post is a good un, it sees the news that one of the Phoenix most productive players has returned for another season! As the title says, this post is one they wanted and one they expected! 

Phoenix Press Release

Michal Psurny: 
First, the one they wanted! If you spoke to any Phoenix fan at the end of the season, the first name most would have wanted back was, that man from Czech Republic...Michal Psurny. Michal had a fantastic year with the Phoenix during 13/14, easily his best in his career scoring 104 points. In his two seasons with the Phoenix Michael has now one the playoff trophy and a league title. Anchoring the top line alongside Tony Hand and James Archer Psurny had the space and time to do what he does best, snipe opposition goals. One of the most talented players to pull on a Phoenix jersey, Psurny has toughness and excellent stick handling skills. A firm fan favourite, not just because of his goals but, his personality and temperament too. A thoroughly nice bloke! Phoenix fans wanted him back, some were worried after Bakrlik and Kovar were announced, thinking 'we never retain so many imports' so news of his return was greeted with joy. With the prospect of Tony Hand scaling back on the number of games he will play this season, Psurny's skill is needed now more than ever. If theres one player who can step it up and produce when needed, it's Psurny! All together now..........Who's that man from Czech Republic........ 

James Neil:
Saying, one they expected, in relation to James Neil sounds like a slight against him as a player. It is not meant that way at all! Entering his 6th season in Manchester James Neil is a player who forms the solid foundations of a good team. 13/14 was another good year for James, he will never pull up trees or light up the ice but, in his defencive role, he is not required to. James goes about his job, on the ice, in a quiet understated way. Off the ice, he is different! Another fan favourite, a player who always makes time to talk to anyone and who really get's along with the fans at off ice events. He could be considered a 'face of the franchise' kind of guy! It takes many parts to build a successful team, James Neil is a very important part of the Phoenix machine!