Fan Voice: Mark Woodcock AKA “The Angry Budgie” and the Manchester Phoenix/Phoenix Coyotes

Mark Woodcock comes to us from the United Kingdom and happens to be a rare breed of fan. By that I mean, a fan of of the Phoenix Coyotes. I had to get into the mind of a Phoenix fan. (No disrespect to Manchester haha).

March Hockey: Where are you located and how did you get into hockey?

ced8ffbe97f0a638714f6d94f231820aMark Woodcock: I live in a small town called Macclesfield not too far from Manchester Airport and really got into hockey from birth, by my parents. My mum was a physio for our local Ice Hockey team the Trafford Metro’s so, my brother and I, went to hockey games in the pram! It was natural that I began to play the sport too, have loved the game ever since!

MH: What makes you a passionate fan of the Manchester Phoenix?

MW: They are my team, I have been a supporter of Ice Hockey in/around Manchester since my birth and, the Phoenix are the current incarnation. I have been their since the birth of the current Phoenix and, through the two years the team were put on ice while a new Ice Rink was built. There is a real community and fan orientated passion about this club. A shared sense of pain through the years that stands the club in a good place for the future.

MH: Who is the one player that really stands out on the team and why?

TonyHandMW: I was going to say one of the import forwards, you know the guys who score all the goals. But at this level players don’t usually stick around for multiple seasons. There is one name, however, that has stuck around, possibly the greatest hockey player our small island has produced, Tony Hand. While he may be the wrong side of 40 this man still puts up multi point games every season. He is the lifeblood of the club, any player who is on the same line as him, will have a career year in points! I’m sure I could score 100pts a season if he was assisting!

MH: How does the EPIHL do in terms of fan interaction?

MW: The EPL is largely a development league so is only really semi-professional. That goes for the off-ice staff as well as the players, as a result the fan interaction can only go as far as a small budget will allow. That being said clubs do their very best. Everyone will do a meet the players event, Christmas parties and end of season parties. Along with numerous player signings after a game for example. So, I guess, there is quite a good level of interaction. Continue reading “Fan Voice: Mark Woodcock AKA “The Angry Budgie” and the Manchester Phoenix/Phoenix Coyotes”

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Fan Voice: Matt Freedman and the Manchester Phoenix

The Manchester Phoenix were originally apart of the EIHL before moving over to the EPIHL. Matt Freedman is a die hard Phoenix fan who volunteers his time on game nights and tries his best to promote the game of hockey and recruit new fans.

March Hockey: Where are you located and how did you get into hockey?

Matt Freedman.
Matt Freedman.

Matt Freedman: I live in Manchester and got in to hockey as a result of playing hockey games on my old mega-drive (we all know which game I mean!). I decided I had to see this sport and went down to the old ice rink with my brother to watch the Trafford Metros, who were in the BD1 league back in 1993. I was blown away by the whole thing, and became hooked instantly. I fell out of love with the sport when the team became the Manchester Storm and moved to the arena. This may sound strange but I’d got so used to being really close to the action, and being around people who knew their hockey. The Storm just didn’t feel that way and I stopped going regularly.

MH: What makes you a passionate fan of the Manchester Phoenix?

New-phoenix-logo07MF: The same as makes any fan passionate I think. It’s a great sport played by proper sportsmen who know how to behave off the ice. The club has a great fan base, management team, product and atmosphere and I look forward to each game of the season like a kid on Christmas Eve! I volunteer on match nights and try to make the match night a great experience for all the newbies. It’s very satisfying to see a family come down time after time when you were part of their first game night. Continue reading “Fan Voice: Matt Freedman and the Manchester Phoenix”