Hi Storm fans,

Hope you’re all well! I know how the off-season can be one long drag waiting for the first puck-drop of the season, so I thought I’d send out another note from myself to keep you all abreast of happenings at the Manchester Storm!

So, what’s happened in Storm land since my last message to you all?

Firstly, I had a very relaxing break in Lanzarote. Just what the Dr ordered, after a very busy season to say the least. Though I did make the silly decision of releasing the Eric Neilson signing whilst away which ended up with me sat in a beach café half the day! School boy error from me, but I wanted to get that news out to you all. The signing has certainly created a real buzz across the league, that is for sure.

Secondly, Tuesday just past was the end of the Early Bird offer for season tickets, and it’s safe to say myself & ownership are over the moon with how many of you have purchased already. It’s amazing to see that loyal support built inside one season, so on behalf of everyone connected with the club, THANK-YOU!! If you haven’t gotten your season ticket as yet, the obvious question is WHY NOT?!?! You’re all going to be in for a treat next season, of that I am certain.

Thirdly, and I’ve already touched a bit on it, but the signing of Eric Neilson is a big one for us. You guys hear me talk non-stop about building a culture and identity for our club, my love for “Franchise” guys, well look no further, this is the guy. Neilson was on our target list from around early March & it’s fair to say that everything we heard about the player was nothing short of superb. “Ultimate team guy”, “Best team mate I’ve ever played with, “always puts the team first”, “extremely tough”, “leader”, “works tirelessly in the community”, “he’ll be your instant fan favourite”,  are just some snapshots of the feedback that we received on him. You guys are gonna love him.

Also, how awesome is it to have Pauly Phillips back next season?! I am a huge #42 fan. I love the way he conducts himself, a consummate professional who “buys in”. He’s what GM’s/Owners would call “low maintenance”. Pauly comes to work every single day and cares immensely about the team, hence why he was a real fan favourite here in Manchester. Anyone remember when he got his teeth re-arranged in Glasgow towards the end of last season from a deflected puck? I phoned Pauly that night while he was still in a Glasgow hospital awaiting treatment and he said “Neil, I’ll get temporarily fixed up here and will be playing tomorrow”. Which he did. Wasn’t even up for debate. Pach is equally as delighted to have Pauly back, and sees him as a vital component to our D core for next season. He was one of the players Pach & i wanted back, but he was a man in demand, so for Pauly to come back to the Storm for a second season is something we are all very happy with!

So, what else is new? Well, I’m just off another Skype call with Pach & he’s passed on some further good news regarding a player on board for next season, so we MIGHT just push that out tomorrow if we get all the i’s dotted, and the t’s crossed in time.

All in all, are Pach & I happy with the direction that team recruitment is going (?), 100% we are. It is going to be one hell of a season, and with some further, really positive news to share with you in the coming weeks, it’s fair to say that it is a superb time to be involved with the Manchester Storm. Keep spreading the word & thanks again to all of you who have purchased your season tickets already, as I said above, it is amazing to see how far this club has grown in such a short space of time. For those of you still yet to purchase……get on it now! (

Chat soon,

Neil Russell (GM)