Fire Add Another Import Signing – From Australia

Australian David Manning, a former college utility player in North America, has signed for Cardiff Fire.

Manning, who has also played in Sweden and France, will be a key skater for Fire, who play in the second tier of British ice hockey.

He joins fellow imports Kalle Allner and Viktor Langseth, both defenceman from Sweden, and Slovakian centre Robert Sedlak with National League Fire.

Their opening match of the new season is against Kent’s Invicta Dynamos at Ice Arena Wales on Saturday (6.30pm).

“David has a great pedigree in hockey, having played in Sweden, North America, Australia and France,” says Fire head coach Mark Cuddihy. “He is quick, a great skater, has plenty of skill and will be an exciting player for sure.

“David can play as a forward or defenceman and that gives us plenty of options for this season.”

Manning played for Limhamn at the top level of under-18 junior league in Sweden in 2002-03, scoring almost a point a game in his first season.

The following year he stepped up to the senior team playing in Swedish Division Two, playing eight games again scoring almost a point a game.

His season was cut short and Manning returned to Australia where he played in the national league and represented the Australian national team at junior level.

He ventured to North America to play for the Los Angeles junior Kings, playing 48 matches and racking up an impressive 57 points.

Manning also played for Villanova Knights in the Ontario Junior Hockey league, while he joined Nothland College in the NCAA competition and spent three seasons at that level.

Three years ago Manning went back to Sweden and iced for IFK Ore in the Swedish second league, scoring 12 points in 25 games. He then moved to France and played for Courbevole in the French second tier before coming to Cardiff.

The versatile player can operate on defence or offence. He holds both Australian and UK passports, but will count as an import for Cardiff Fire.

They now have four import players in total over their two National League teams.

Cuddihy has also signed British players Jordan Powell and Dave Christian.

Long-serving Powell started his career in Cardiff and scored 23 points in 12 games for Fire last season. At only 25-years-old, he has played 215 times at NIHL level, scoring 145 points.

Powell was called up by Manchester Storm to play in the Elite League Challenge Cup last season.

Christian is also a product of the Cardiff junior system and has was a big success in his first season with Fire team during 2016-17.

He has played professional roller hockey in Spain and is now back on ice playing for Fire. His speed and hands made him a highly effective player who is popular with fans and teammates.

“Dickie (Christian) had a good season last time and exceeded my expectations,” said Cuddihy. “He just got better and better.

“He is lightning quick and has a great set of hands. We want to work more on his goalscoring and if he can get that back to the level where he wants it he will be a real force in this team.

“Dickie stepped up to the NIHL select team against the Bison and scored a great goal on the night.

“He puts pressure on himself and wants to keep learning and improving. He works hard and has a good attitude.

“It’s starting to click into place for him and he’s going to have an exceptional season. He’s  chomping at the bit to test himself at our new level of hockey.

“In Jordan we have a leader. He has been a massive part of Cardiff Fire and has proved he can step up to higher levels when called upon. He has developed into a leader in our room on match days and I believe he will handle the step up to the new second tier just fine.”

Fire are now playing in the second tier of British ice hockey and their first National League fixture is against Invicta Dynamos in Cardiff Bay on Saturday.

Dynamos visit Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay (6.30pm), while Fire, whose main sponsors are Premier Taxis, travel to play Streatham on Sunday.

Match tickets will be on sale at Ice Arena Wales before face-off on Saturday. Cardiff Devils season ticket holders can buy adult tickets for £7, which is a £2 reduction on the full price.

The full cost of tickets is adults £9, children £1, families (2 adults plus children) £20.Concessions £5 (over-60, students, children aged 12-16). Children under-12 £1.

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