Manchester Phoenix beat Elite League clubs to sign Norwegian forward Joachim Flaten

 By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent 

Manchester Phoenix today announced the signature of Norwegian forward Joachim Flaten as their squad for next season continues to grow for the new season.

The English Premier League side beat clubs at the higher Elite League level to sign Flaten, who joins from hometown club Frisk Asker who play in Norway’s top division. 

Despite Frisk being relegated last season, Flaten managed to score 17 goals and as a result the team’s top scorer and his move to the UK came after a discussion with new Cardiff Devils signing Phil Osear, who praised the standard of the game here. 

Speaking to Phoenix TV, he said: “I sat down with my agent and said I wanted to play in the UK. I had a talk with Tony and after that it was a no brainer to sign with Manchester. My first impressions of the Phoenix are that they are a serious organisation & looking to win the league next year.” 

Joachim describes himself as hard working and hopes to show off his shooting skills in the EPL this coming season. 

Coach Hand confirmed that Phoenix had beaten ‘a couple’ of Elite League teams to sign Flaten, who will study at Bolton University whilst here.

He said: “The lad has a good all round game and extensive experience in a very good hockey league and will do well in the EPL. He was top scorer in his team, despite them having a poor season.” 

BACK: Tom Duggan will once again wear Phoenix colours (photo credit RGA Photography)

Joining Joachim at the Altrincham Ice Dome for a third season will be 22-year-old Tom Duggan. 

Duggan emerged as one of the most consistent performers at Phoenix last season, ending the year with four awards, including Player’s Player of the Year and Fan’s Player of the Year. 

He hit 26 goals, and assisted 27 goals for his team-mates last season, helping Phoenix to finish as runner up in both the league and playoff competitions. 

Tom said: “Tony spoke to me at the end of the year and it’s a place I want to be playing. I am really excited and wasn’t a hard decision at all.”

“I like the team from top to bottom, from coaching, my team mates, physios and fans. It’s a very professional organisation. It’s nice to already be comfortable with a team before I even get on the ice.” 

Coach Hand has called for Tom to continue his development and praised his outstanding work ethic. 

His continued good form will be needed if Phoenix are to regain the EPL title, having won it for the first time in the 2010/11 season before conceding it to Guildford Flames last time. 

These latest announcements see the 2012/13 squad continuing to take shape following the return of netminder Steve Fone, defender James Neil, all-rounder Ben Wood and forwards Ciaran Long and James Archer. 

They are complemented by new signings – all forwards – Andy McKinney, Scott McKenzie and Jake Nurse, who has been plucked from the Trafford Metros squad. 

More squad announcements will follow as they happen – keep your eyes on MM in coming weeks.

Follow Steven Oldham on Twitter – @spoldham  

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