SHEFFIELD, U.K. – The Sheffield Steelers today announced that they have signed standout British player Robert Dowd to a two-year contract from Swedish side Troja-Ljungby.
The 24-year-old from Billingham can either play at centre or on the wing, giving Steelers Head Coach Doug Christiansen more options.
Dowd first came to Sheffield in 2006, where he joined neighbouring EPL outfit the Sheffield Scimitars (now Steeldogs) and was an instant hit as ne netted 43 points in just 31 games.
Dowd’s performances earned him two games with the Steelers that season, but he failed to register a point in either of his outings.
Dowd then spent the following season split between the Scimitars and the Steelers, but then signed for the Steelers on a full time basis for the 2008/09 season.
In 50 games with the Steelers Dowd registered an impressive 44 points (23+21) and added a further 6 points in the Playoffs, helping the team to a league and playoff title double.
Dowd had a further two great seasons with the Steelers, with his last season being the most prolific as he recorded a staggering 61 points in 62 games, helping the team to another league title.
The Great Britain international then joined Doug Christiansen in Belfast where he had another standout year leading the team with 72 points in 50 games, helping the Giants to an EIHL league title.
Dowd then decided to try his luck in Europe and signed with Troja-Ljungby in the Swedish Allsvenskan. Despite missing several games due to injury, he still finished fifth in the teams’ points charts with 24 points (10+14) in 42 games.
The return of Dowd has gone down well with the Steelers fans, with most of whom placing the ‘Golden Child’ at the top of their summer wish list.
Dowd, who’s fiancée is from Sheffield has been given a two-year contract, showing that he is keen to commit to the cause, and buy in to what Doug Christiansen is building in South Yorkshire.
Dowd spoke about his decision to return to Sheffield, “I’m so happy to be back home, and I consider Sheffield to be my home. I enjoyed my time away, I learnt a lot and played some great hockey in Belfast and Troja but this move back feels right,” Dowd said.
The young forward conceded that Steelers Head Coach Doug Christiansen played a large part in his decision to return, “Doug will make a huge difference in Sheffield. I loved playing for him in Belfast. He was hard on me and all the guys. I loved that, he had us totally prepared and ready. Doug wants to win as badly as I do, you could see that in every training session. He pushes you hard, all of the time. Some guys don’t like it but I did and can’t wait to get back working with him again,” Dowd admitted.
Christiansen also spoke about his latest acquisition, “Rob is an exceptional talent, more importantly he has an inner drive to succeed that all young players can learn from.
“Having coached him on a daily basis, I know how hard he works and that he doesn’t want to be good, he wants to be great. I expect Dowdy to be a premier player for us and one that plays in every situation. He is a winner and a player that cares more about the team winning than his own personal statistics,” Christiansen said.
“I believe that by adding Dowd and the rest of our Brit pack, we are not just looking to rebuild, we are looking to reload. We know where our sights are set,” Christiansen added.
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