Odd stories are pretty common during the international break, mainly because everyone is just counting down the days until domestic football returns to our screens. From the Coleen Rooney scandal to whatever is happening in parliament these days, it’s hard to keep away from the downright bizarre at times like this. As such, this story about former Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech joining a lower league English ice hockey team kind of feels a bit normal.
The veteran hung up his boots earlier on this year after spending four years at the Emirates, which followed on from over a decade of success at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea. Now, though, he’s going to go back to his roots by focusing on a sport that many Brits don’t know all too much about: and that’s ice hockey.
Ice hockey is known for being a very popular sport in North America, particularly in Canada and the United States. However, in Europe, it has also been a standard fixture in many cold weather countries – and that includes the Czech Republic.
“I hope I can help this young team achieve their goals,” Cech said.
“After 20 years of professional football, this is going to be a wonderful experience for me to play the game I loved to watch and play as a kid.”
“Some people seem to think I’ve changed my job. No I didn’t.
“Luckily my job at Chelsea doesn’t stop me in my spare time from playing the game I loved as a kid and which I’ve been playing for years. While being a professional footballer I couldn’t play the game for obvious reasons. Now I can.”
Guildford’s head coach had the following to say.
“The signing of Petr is massive for the Phoenix, he is a great guy who trains hard and I cannot wait to see him make his debut.”
The fact that Petr is taking a leap of faith like this, as opposed to just going away and retiring, is a testament to the kind of player and sportsman that he is. This isn’t going to be an easy move for him but in many ways, that doesn’t matter. As long as he’s happy and is challenging himself, then we couldn’t be happier for the guy.
What do you think of this move?