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History

The beginning of Hockey in Sheffield

Sheffield's first ice rink, initially called Silver Blades, on Queens Road opened in 1965, ice hockey in Sheffield followed in the early 70’s. The Sheffield Lancers were Sheffield’s first ice hockey club, that played at the Queens Road Ice Rink between 1974 and 1980. The Lancers initially played in the Southern League before transferring into the English League North in 1978 where they won the league's inaugural title. Current Sheffield coach Jeff Colton playing for the Lancers in the late 70s.


Sheffield Lancers 1975


Sheffield Lancers 1980

In 1980 quite a few of the players relocated to Nottingham and became the second and current version of the Nottingham Panthers. Sheffield Knights moved up having played 2 seasons in the Midlands League, they were followed by the Sheffield Saracens, both teams short lived. The Sheffield Sabres were the main team, with few players returned to from Panthers and players who stayed behind formed the core of the Sheffield Sabres ice hockey team.


Sheffield Sabres 1985

The Sheffield Scimitars were formed as an under 21 team that became the senior team in 1990.

Ice Hockey soon became massive in Sheffield in 1991 with the formation of the Sheffield Steelers, gaining promotion in their first season from BH2 to BD1.

 

Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy

1991 also saw the formation of Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy under Head Coach Craig Webster, where the club began to play junior league games. With U10’s Sheffield Samurai, U12s Sheffield Lasers, U14s Sheffield Stormers and U16’s Sheffield Rapiers. The U19’s Sheffield Steelhawks operated under the Sheffield Scimitars, bridging the gap between junior and senior hockey.

At Queens Road the academy took ownership of player’s development from the learn to skate end, with ‘bend your knees’ Mac, John Ross Senior’s Saturday morning skating courses and Cotrina Stasi’s figure skating expertise, making the players the best skaters across the country.


U10 Sheffield Samurai 1993

 


U12 Sheffield Lasers 1996

 


U14s Sheffield Stormers 1995



U16 Sheffield Rapiers 2000

Hockey in Sheffield started to expand quickly in the late 90s, with the Sheffield Greyhounds U16s, the Academy’s first 2nd team in 1997, followed by the Sheffield Sabres U14s and Sheffield Scorpions U19s in 1999.


U16 Sheffield Greyhounds 1998

The Academy moved its current home, Ice Sheffield in 2003, this saw the end of Craig Webster’s rain as Head Coach, the Academy’s longest standing Head Coach to date and now honorary member. When the Academy moved to Ice Sheffield, Jon Rowbotham (aka Jonny Row) became the new head coach to lead the club into a new era at its new home.

2003 also saw the formation of U12 2nd team, Sheffield Swampfrogs, with its stand out name that stands to this day, allowing more opportunities for player development in Sheffield.

In 2003-04 and 2004-05 the Sheffield Scimitars won the ENL league then promoted to the EPIHL League starting 2005-06. This then allowed the formation of the Sheffield Spartans in 2005, winning the ENL League in 2006-07, moving to the NIHL 1 in 2012 until 2016 when the team unfortunately disbanded.

 
Sheffield Scimitars 2005 ENL Champions


Sheffield Spartans National Cup & Playoff Champions 2007


Sheffield Spartans 2015

In 2006-07 both the U19’s teams, Sheffield Steelhawks and Scorpions, moved from under the ownership of the Sheffield Scimitars to the under Academy umbrella. The next season then saw the U19’s age group changed to U18s, reducing the age group to two years for the Sheffield Steelhawks and Scorpions.

2010 Sheffield Scimitars became the Sheffield Steeldogs and the formation of the Sheffield Senators, who began playing in the NIHL2 league, winning promotion to the NIHL 1 in 2015, sadly coming back down the following season.

 In 2010 Jon Rowbotham’s long rain came to an end and current Sheffield, Midland’s, England and GB coach Jeff Colton took over for the next two seasons. Followed by another current experienced Sheffield, Midlands and England Coach, Martin White, who acted up as Head Coach for a short period in 2012 before Mark Heron took over on two short separate stints in between 2012 and 2014.

 

During the 2014-15 Season Ron Shudra former Sheffield Steeler’s legend, held the Head Coach role for a short period before the Academy appointed Paul Harding as head coach and saw the national change of age groups from U10s-U16s to U9s- U15s, at this point the Sheffield Junior teams became:

U9s Samurai
U11s Thunder and Swampfrogs
U13s Lasers and Sabres
U15s Stormers and Greyhounds
U18s Steelhawks and Rapiers

2015-16 season also saw the return of the U20s League and the resurrection of the original Sheffield Scimitars name as the U20s 1st team and the Sheffield Scorpions as the U20s 2nd team, taking on the old U18s 2nd team name, who only played in the U20s league for two seasons. At this point the U18s 2nd team took the name of the former U16s 1st team, Sheffield Rapiers.

In 2016-17 Heather McDermott, was first female Head Coach take charge and for one season only the 1st Sheffield 3rd teams were formed, Sheffield Forgers in U15s who came 2nd in the Tier 2 Northern U15s League and U13’s also had a 3rd team for one season called Sheffield Shurikens.



U11 Sheffield Thunder National Champions 2017

2018 saw Liam Kirk, Sheffield through and through developed player, playing from U10's and in all the Sheffield Senior teams, progress to higher than any other British trained player, when drafted by NHL Arizona Coyotes.


EIHA Chairman Charles Dacres with Liam Kirk at 2019 Nationals following Liam’s Draft pick


Sheffield Academy 2019 Summer Jamboree and Farewell to Liam Kirk


U11 Sheffield Thunder National Champions 2019


U19 Sheffield Steelhawks National Champions 2018

At the start of the 2019-20 season saw the appointment of current Head Coach Martyn Etheridge, moving from Nottingham with a wealth of experience as England Coach and the Midlands Head Coach.

2020-21 the Sheffield Senators traced its routes back to the same change as in 1991 and reformed under the Sheffield Scimitars name as the senior team within the Sheffield Academy under the leadership of Stephen Weeks, one of the only players to have played at all levels in Sheffield from U10s to Steelers, in addition to coaching academy and conference. This leaving an identify opening for the U20’s, they moved to a whole new name of Sheffield Titans and due to an ethical stance the U18s 2nd team moved from the Sheffield Rapiers, taking on the historical Sheffield Lancers badge.

 

Junior National Championship Trophies

5x u11s

5x u13s

3x u15s

7x u18s

 

Junior League Trophies

11x u11s

5x u13s

8x u15s

10x u18s

Sponsorship

If you are interested in sponsoring Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy next season we have many different packages available including NIHL Player Sponsors, Scimitars Own and Loan Shirts & Individual Junior team sponsors.

Please contact chair@Sheffieldiha.com for more information and discuss the packages available.