Phoenix get friendly

Manchester PhoenixMANCHESTER, UK – AN old pals’ act helped Manchester Phoenix recruit a new defenceman for the new season.

Joe Graham kept in contact with his former teammates over the summer and that led to the North West club signing the 23-year-old from Peterborough.

He joins James Neil, Luke Boothroyd and James Archer at the club he played for in 2009 – and they’re all best mate.

“I’ve known James Neil since I was born really,” he said. “I had the option of staying in Peterborough but I wanted to progress as a player.

“Therefore a move to a bigger club like Manchester, no disrespect to the Phantoms, was a no brainer as I would get more responsibility.

“I want to get better this season and have set myself a few goals. I want to be one of the top 10 British defencemen and be solid.”

Joe, who played for Great Britain’s under 20s in 2010, expects to learn from his elders at Phoenix too.

He will be icing alongside several experienced players including ex-NHLer Robert Schnabel.

“It’s great to have a player of Robert’s calibre here,” he continued, “and I will be gaining a lot from him. I will let him give me his wisdom and hopefully I can take that forward.”

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

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