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Stevie Lyle
"I hope it's going to be a winning team."
 real 14k

Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 20:03 GMT 21:03 UK
Lyle leaves Devils lair
Stevie Lyle has played his last game for Cardiff
Stevie Lyle has played his last game for Cardiff
Cardiff Devils goaltender Stevie Lyle has expressed his delight at the prospect of joining the Manchester Strom.

The Great Britain international is the first big name signing to be announced by the Storm's newly-appointed coach Daryl Lipsey.

"I've always liked the set-up in Manchester. You never hear one bad thing said about them," said Cardiff-born Lyle.


I just feel that maybe it's time I moved on
  Stevie Lyle
"It's going to be great if I can go up there and win a trophy next season.

"There were one or two other teams interested in me, but I've known Daryl Lipsey for a long time and he's always taken an interest in my career.

"He's spoken to me about the type of team he wants to put together and I'm confident he'll do that.

"And I hope it's going to be a winning team."

Canadian-born Lipsey has been given the task of reviving the club's fortunes after they finished third from bottom under former coach Terry Christensen in the Sekonda Superleague last season.

Lipsey believes Lyle has the talent and experience to be a huge influence at Manchester.


He will be the rock upon which we build our defence
  Manchester's Daryl Lipsey
"The netminding position is probably the most important on any hockey team to fill," he said.

"In Stevie we have signed a proven player, not only at domestic level but also with international experience, at club and national level, behind him.

"It's hard to accept sometimes Stevie is still only 21 - he's an exciting goalie to watch, has all the attributes and he's British.

"We've tried to bring him here previously, now we have succeeded and he will be the rock upon which we build our defence."

Lyle first burst onto the ice hockey scene as a 14-year-old when he made his debut in the European Cup.

He was named the inaugural Superleague player of the year in 1996 following Devils' league triumph.

Manchester won the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1999
Manchester won the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1999
Just 12 months later, he was included in the Great Britain squad for the 1995 Olympic Games qualifying tournament.

Since then he has played more than 200 games in top-flight domestic hockey and made over 30 appearances for the national team.

"I'm obviously a bit sad to leave the Devils, especially with so much confusion about their future in the Superleague," he admitted.

"If they do stay in the Superleague and I play against them, it will be hard.

"But I just feel that maybe it's time I moved on.

"It's nothing against the Devils or the city because I love them, but it comes to a point where everyone's got to move on and try something different.

"I can always come back."

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