Manchester Phoenix sign forward O'Flaherty

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Manchester Phoenix logo Manchester Phoenix have signed forward Gareth O’Flaherty, as the countdown continues to the new English Premier League campaign.

O’Flaherty, 25, was a member of the Blaze side that won the Elite League play-offs last season, alongside playing 22 games with the club’s NIHL squad.

Those matches in the Laidler Conference produced 21 points for the Surrey-born playmaker, who has also enjoyed spells with Telford Tigers and Nottingham Lions.

Phoenix Head Coach, Tony Hand, expects O’Flaherty to become a key part of his side’s offensive threat next season.

He said: “I’ve watched O’Flaherty play in various leagues for a number of years and he’s a guy who can perform at all levels.

“Crucially, he has the potential to become an excellent player at this level. That is what I believe he can do for us next year.

“His stats show a lot more assists than goals, which could prove incredibly useful for us. Those sort of playmaker skills can make a big difference for a team.”

O’Flaherty’s presence in the Coventry Elite League squad saw him play alongside some of the country’s top players, during a memorable year for the club.

Hand wants that winning mentality to be a notable feature of his squad next season, as they look to win back the EPL title.

“When I started building this squad, I wanted a team full of winners and that is what Gareth represents,” Hand said.

“You don’t win a play-off championship by just going along for the ride. Gareth will have been a big part of the Coventry side last season.

“The experience of winning one of the biggest prizes in UK ice hockey will be very important for us. Like the Manchester Phoenix fans, I am absolutely desperate to win back the title.

“I fully expect Gareth to help us massively in achieving that target next season.”

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