Sheffield Steelers return to action this weekend after over 12 months off the ice

It's been a long wait for fans of the Sheffield Steelers.

Last March thousands travelled to Cardiff to watch their team win the Challenge Cup. Little did they know it would be over 12 months before their heroes would return to the ice.

Sheffield Steelers celebrate winning the Challenge Cup in March 2020 Credit: Sheffield Steelers

This Saturday the Steelers will play their first match of the Elite Series - a competition between four of the countries best teams played over five weeks in Nottingham. Sadly there'll be no fans inside the arena, but they will be able to watch the team with every match being streamed live.

Yeah it's been a long year. Obviously we thought we'd see some light at the end of the tunnel come September and then November, December again but it's extended now until April. Again just fortunate that we have something to bridge us into September, October. Looking forward to it though.

Aaron Fox, Sheffield Steelers Head Coach

Head coach Aaron Fox has been busy building a roster capable of competing in this innovative mini-league.

Sheffield Steelers Head Coach Aaron Fox with Challenge Cup Credit: Sheffield Steelers

Returning to the club after two years playing in North America is 21 year old Liam Kirk from Maltby.

I've always been a fan of the Steelers ever since I was a kid. I had that experience when I was younger, as a 16, 17, 18 year old. Obviously I didn't expect to be back this soon but I'm excited about the upcoming event - the Elite Series - and I'm sure it's going to be exciting for the fans as well.

Liam Kirk, Sheffield Steelers

Amongst the new faces is French Canadian Jeremy Beaudry, who arrives in South Yorkshire from Danish outfit Rødovre Mighty Bulls.

You know when you sign for the Steelers what the expectations are in the city with the fans and the organisation. When you sign a contract, you sign a contract to come and win

Jeremy Beaudry, Sheffield Steelers

The Steelers only returned for camp on Tuesday, which gives them less than a week of preparation for their opening encounter against fierce rivals Nottingham on Saturday.

Sheffield Steelers training at Ice Sheffield Credit: ITV Calendar

Nevertheless, as the last team to win a trophy before the sport was put on ice, the Steelers hope to be the first to win one now their back on the ice.