Phan­toms bring in Slo­vak tough guy to bol­ster their de­fence ICE HOCKEY

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Classifieds - By MARK PLUMMER mark.plummer@jpress.co.uk

PHAN­TOMS will go into bat­tle next sea­son with the tough­est player in the English Premier League.

That’s the way head coach Jon Ky­nas­ton has billed the club’s new im­port sign­ing - hardman Slo­vakian de­fence­man Jozef Sladok.

The 23 year-old has stepped down from Elite League level to join the city out­fit and is ex­pected to pack a real punch.

Ky­nas­ton said: “Jozef will un­doubt­edly be the tough­est player any­where in our league . . . and if any­one thinks dif­fer­ently it will make for an in­ter­est­ing evening.

“Jozef is some­one I felt we needed in the team. He has size and a sim­ple, solid de­fen­sive game.

“He will get the puck to our for­wards, cre­ate the space we need clear­ing in front of our net and man­age the walls in our zone. In our small rink his frame will be a big ob­sta­cle for op­po­nents.

“First and fore­most he is here to play the game and he will be a big part of our team, but his ar­rival also means we have a player who can man­age the be­hav­iour of the op­po­si­tion if re­quired. “He is some­one we have been talk­ing to for quite a while and it’s great to get a deal signed and sealed.”

Sladok spent his for­ma­tive years in his East­ern Euro­pean home­land and rep­re­sented Slo­vakia at the World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships at Un­der 17 and Un­der 18 level.

He spent two years play­ing for Cana­dian team Ply­mouth Whalers in the On­tario Hockey League be­fore mov­ing on to Texan club Cor­pus Christi Ice Rayz in the Cen­tral Hockey League.

He briefly re­turned to Slo­vakia be­fore ar­riv­ing on these shores dur­ing the 2009-10 cam­paign when be­ing snapped by up Rom­ford Raiders. Their coach at the time was Peter­bor­ough leg­end Jesse Ham­mill.

Spells at the top level fol­lowed with Hull the fol­low­ing year and Ed­in­burgh last sea­son where he en­hanced his rep­u­ta­tion as a mean cus­tomer.

Sladok will be ex­pected to fill the on-ice void left by the de­par­ture of last sea­son’s player-coach Chris Allen.

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