ANDRE Payette’s achievements with Sheffield Steeldogs this season have
been recognised after he was named the English Premier League Coach of
the Year by Ice Hockey Journalists UK.
The 35-year-old Canadian has led Steeldogs to third place in the EPL
and to the cup final, where they trail league champions Guildford
Flames 6-3 from the first leg, with the return at the Spectrum on
Payette made his name as a no-nonsense enforcer with Coventry Blaze,
Newcastle Vipers (pictured) and Manchester Phoenix before joining
He took over as coach from Matt Darlow during last season and has transformed the club’s fortunes.
Payette said: “It makes me very proud and honoured to have won this award.
“My life is hockey and being a coach as well as still being able to
play is kind of like a dream job for me - to win such an award in my
first full year as a coach is wonderful.
“It’s more like an award for the whole club because I could not do it
without my players and the people who own and run the club - they have
both put a lot faith in me and what we are trying to do here.
“Our target was to break into the top six and it looks like we might
end up in third. To do that and reach the EPL Cup final is a fantastic