Heavey sets sights on new challenge

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The Independent Online

Paul Heavey is in the running for the vacant head coaching posts at Bracknell Bees and Manchester Storm after quitting the Cardiff Devils.

Following a decade at Cardiff as player, captain and then coach, Heavey has decided to leave the club as he feels it is time for a new challenge.

Heavey helped the Devils win the inaugural Superleague title in 1997, along with the play-off championship in 1999, but last season proved to be the worst under his tenure. Cardiff finished a woeful seventh in the league, while they failed to reach the final of any of the knockout competitions, even missing out on the play-off finals weekend in a dismal defence of their trophy.

Despite strenuous efforts by the new Cardiff chairman, Bob Phillips, to retain Heavey's services, which included the offer of a board appointment, the Scot has severed all links. "For the last decade the Cardiff Devils have been my life," Heavey said. "I've really enjoyed my time here and I will cherish the memories. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to take over a winning team and delighted to have continued that run of form for many years."

Dave Whistle left Bracknell Bees, the Superleague champions, last week to take over at the new franchise Belfast Giants, while Kurt Kleinendorst left Manchester Storm to return to America for family reasons.

Meanwhile, the British National League team Hull Thunder have named Ron Shudra as their new player-coach, with the former Sheffield Steelers defenceman promising to bring back the good times.

Shudra, who became an instant hit with the Hull Arena fans following his summer switch from south Yorkshire, takes over from the departed Don Depoe.

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