Manchester Phoenix star aiming for inline glory

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Manchester Phoenix logo Manchester Phoenix forward James Archer has hailed the role of Red Hockey and Neil Morris in getting the GB Inline squad to Finland for the World Championships.

The national side are favourites to reach the quarter-finals of the Division One competition, following Sunday’s 16-1 demolition of Bulgaria and yesterday’s 5-4 win over Austria.

But with inline hockey rarely receiving the exposure of mainstream ice hockey, Archer was delighted when Phoenix owner Morris stepped in to ensure GB could compete in Tampere.

Photo supplied by Manchester PhoenixHe said: “Having Red Hockey and Neil help us out at short notice was a massive help, especially after GB lost a major sponsor. The funding they helped to put together has made a very big difference.

“The Phoenix supporters have also been very good in pledging money for us to get to the tournament. At the open meeting in Manchester last month, they were donating money for the squad.

“Everything they have given is really appreciated by the guys. The sport is entirely self-funded, so these donations have been crucial in helping our preparations.”

Morris’s intervention saw a number of Manchester-based companies answer the call for financial help, including Phoenix part-owners, Red Hockey and sponsors J Davidson.

Archer said: “I was delighted when Red Hockey became involved and the shirts look great with their logo on them. We’ve also got sponsorship from J Davidson, Comtec, Millingtons and Goodwins.

“I can’t thank them enough for helping the GB guys. The fact that we don’t have to worry about off-ice matters so much is really helping our performance.”

Paul Baker, Director of Red Hockey, was happy to lend his support to the national programme.

He said: “Here at Red Hockey, we like to support our players in whatever they do. Investing in the GB side was a very easy decision to make.

“James is incredibly passionate about his role at the World Championships and we know it will also help his career with The Phoenix.

“We all realise that success breeds success. If James comes home with a gold medal, then it will hopefully inspire his Phoenix team-mates next season.”

Fans can watch all the action from the Inline World Championships via a live stream on the IIHF website – www.iihf.com.​

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