The Steelers are delighted to confirm the signing of Patrick Watling from HC Banska Bystrica in Slovakia.
The 29 year old centre will also be the first Steelers player to take up the fantastic educational opportunity offered by Sheffield Hallam University where he will complete his studies for an MBA.
The highly talented and much in demand Watling decided on Sheffield as his next destination earlier last week following lengthy discussions with head coach Aaron Fox and confirmation from Sheffield Hallam University of his placement.
“Patrick is a very dynamic forward who can play both Center and Wing” said Fox.
“He plays a complete 200 foot game and will play in all situations for us next season.
“Patrick is a creative offensive player, he is a very gifted skater and is very explosive in tight areas. I believe his speed will cause problems at our level.
“He was close to a point per game in Slovakia last year in his first European experience and had 77 points in 55 games in his last season in North America in the ECHL with a couple of AHL call-ups.
“Patrick will be a top end guy that I feel will run big numbers while being a reliable two way player.
“As we have mentioned, Patrick is coming to us in conjunction with an education package from the Sheffield Hallam University. That was a huge selling point for him and this deal does not get done without Hallam being involved.
“We are very excited to open up a new long term partnership with them that will allow us to use the 1 and 2 year Masters options to help us recruit these types of players. I am really excited we found a way to get this done and am looking forward to seeing this partnership grow”.
Watling confirmed his arrival in Sheffield saying “I joined the club for many reasons, the first and foremost being that I want to come here and help the team win. I had some great conversations with the coach and we both explained ourselves very well to each other. I think I can help get the Steelers over the line.
“We spoke about systems and how that game is played, winning is not a one man show and we must all play as a team and all bring something different if we are to achieve those goals.
“I took a lot of references including chatting with Matt Petgrave about the club, the organisation and the city, I liked what I heard about the whole package, everything seemed to fit and fall into place. I’m excited to get over and start work.
“The bonus for me is that I can complete my education with Sheffield Hallam University and that excites me as well, it is an incredible opportunity and I thank all involved in making this happen”.
Asked about his style of play, Watling responded “I’d like to say offensive, I’m fast, I can make plays and score. I play an all around game but, yes I am offensive”.
Become a kit sponsor for Patrick Watling from 8am on Wednesday 26th July – just click on Patrick’s player BIO “HERE”
For more information on Patrick Watling please visit his Elite Prospects Page HERE