Fone back for more

Manchester PhoenixMANCHESTER, UK –  STEPHEN Fone says Manchester Phoenix’ EPL Playoff win was a remarkable end to a frustrating season.

The netminder missed large chunks of the 2012/13 campaign with a groin problem but returned to backstop a 5-2 final win over Guildford.

“I missed more than half of the season and so to come back from surgery, play in those final games and win it, I couldn’t have asked for a better finish,” he said. “It was a tough season but getting the trophy made up for it.”

Fone, 26, is back for his fifth year in Manchester and is looking forward to challenging on all fronts once again.

“It was an easy decision to return,” he continued. “It is a great set up here and we have great fans. Tony Hand always builds a strong team that wants to win. We finished second last season with a lot of injuries so that expectation has increased too.”

Fone signed from Coventry Blaze back in 2009 after being a back-up in the Elite League.

He went on loan to a number of clubs to gain experience and it was a short stint at Phoenix that alerted Hand to his talents.

“It’s tough being a back up and getting playing time. Teams want to win games and don’t always want to put their back-ups in to gain experience. I was fortunate at Coventry that they gave me a chance elsewhere and Tony decided I would be Phoenix’ number one.

“It was a difficult transition to make but I’m happy with how it has gone. I’ve won the League and Playoffs here.

“We look strong this year too. There are a few returning defencemen and that will help my job. Once we have a few games together we will gel.”

To contact the author email: Mike.Appleton@prohockeynews.com or tweet @mascarandy 

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