Match Preview – Sheffield Steeldogs – By James Handscombe-Buckley
Swindon Wildcats – Renny Marr (NM), Dean Skinns (NM), Sam Godfrey, Neil Liddiard, Ben Nethersell, Tyler Plews, Sam Smith, Stevie Whitfield, Edgars Bebris, Sam Bullas, Jack Goodchild, Chris Jones, Tomasz Malasinski, Aaron Nell, Balint Pakozdi, Reed Sayers, Emil Svec, Floyd Taylor, Declan Balmer
Sheffield Steeldogs – Dmitri Zimozdra (NM), Miles Finney (NM), Henry Adams, Lewis Bell, Lee Haywood, Ryan Johnson, Jonathan Kirk, Ben Morgan, Tim Smith, Matt Bissonnette, Lee Bonner, Jack Brammer, Michael Danecko, Brady Doxey, Alex Graham, Jason Hewitt, Louie Newell, Tom Palmer, Nathan Ripley, James Spurr, Charlie Thompson, Sam Towner
The Sheffield Steeldogs franchise were formed as the Sheffield Scimitars back in 1994 and they played in Division 2 under the old British league structure and for their first 8 years of existence they suffered a real drought of any sort of success. But from 2002 to 2005 the Scimitars had their most successful period in their history, they won their first league title in the 2002-2003 season and just missed out on the play-off title, losing in the final. In the following season they fell just short in the ENL league title race, they finished 2nd but they did go one better in the play-offs by winning the final. In the 2004-05 season they finally put it all together and completed a league and play-off double.
After this double winning season, the Scimitars made the move up to the EPL and for their duration in the EPL they have always been a competitive team but unfortunately despite this they never tasted any success in terms of Silverware. In 2010 there was an ownership change and a rebrand of the team in Sheffield as they became the Sheffield Steeldogs and continued in the EPL.
During the Dogs time in the EPL they were again a competitive team but once more didn’t really taste any success and their best return was a 3rd placed finish. With the collapse of the EPL and faced with dropping into the NIHL the Steeldogs really took advantage of this and they won the league in their first season at this level. The Steeldogs were also one of the founder members of the NIHL National and they have a strong roster for this season ahead.
Previous Seasons Performance:
NIHL National – 7th – GP50 – W25 – L22 – OTL3 – GF191 – GA194 – PTS53
This Seasons Meetings:
25/09/2021 Sheffield Steeldogs 7-2 Swindon Wildcats
16/10/2021 Swindon Wildcats 3-4 Sheffield Steeldogs
28/11/2021 Sheffield Steeldogs 0-3 Swindon Wildcats
18/10/2019 Sheffield Steeldogs 2-3 Swindon Wildcats
23/11/2019 Swindon Wildcats 7-3 Sheffield Steeldogs
20/12/2019 Sheffield Steeldogs 4-1 Swindon Wildcats
25/01/2020 Swindon Wildcats 7-1 Sheffield Steeldogs
Tonight’s opposing head coach is Greg Wood and he started his playing career in Sheffield and he came up through their junior system and during his first season in the seniors he split his time between the Steelers and Bison in the Elite League. What followed was a season in the EPL with the Sheffield Scimitars and he was then rewarded in the next two years with full seasons in Basingstoke before a short stop in Coventry for a season, all in the Elite League. It was after these 3 years that he made the decision to drop down from the countries top league into the EPL with the Manchester Phoenix and he stayed here for 2 years before finally returning home with the Steeldogs and he has remained in this organisation ever since.
In the 2015-16 season Wood took his first coaching job, as the player-coach of the Steeldogs and he was in this role for 2 years before returning to focus on playing. He took up the non-playing head coach role in 2020-21 for the cancelled season so this is going to be his first true season behind the bench in Sheffield.