Deal Done: Steeldogs in great happiness, the team just Inked down a deal securing a gifted star to the team.

Abel, 62, who also served as a player and assistant coach at neighbouring Sheffield Steelers, is stepping in as No 2 to help Steeldogs’ head coach Steve Weeks for the remainder of the season.

The move comes on the back of what has proved a difficult 2023-24 campaign for the Steeldogs, one which has left them second-bottom of the standings and in danger of missing out on the post-season for the first time since the league was formed in 2019.

Two players have announced their intentions to leave the team via social media in the last week: veteran defenseman Tim Smith and young forward Jack Brammer. The club is trying to turn around its worst run of play so far this season. Brammer is eager to transfer to a new place in order to continue his development, whereas Smith plans to retire.
It was only when player-coach Jason Hewitt resigned for personal reasons that Weeks was appointed head coach, between Christmas and New Year’s. Weeks took over Lewis Jones’ position as the team’s bench coach early in the season.
He has only managed one victory in his six games in charge since taking the lead, but he is still optimistic that he can improve the team’s performance.

To aid that objective, Abel has been added to the coaching team, already well-known in Sheffield hockey circles through his time with the Scimitars – who effectively became the Steeldogs in 2010 – and the Steelers. He has won an array of honours for both teams, both as a player and coach.

He will be a familiar face to a number of the Steeldogs’ players, most notably veteran forwards Jason Hewitt and Jonathan Phillips, who won league and play-off titles with him while at the Steelers. Veteran defencemen Ben Morgan and Lee Haywood, meanwhile, both played under Abel when he was head coach of the Scimitars.

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