AP NEWS

Petr Cech joins British ice hockey team as goaltender

October 9, 2019

LONDON (AP) — Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is trying his hand — or glove — at ice hockey.

The 37-year-old Cech, who retired from playing soccer in the summer and rejoined Chelsea in a backroom role, has signed for British lower-division hockey team Guildford Phoenix as a goaltender.

Cech is an avid follower of the NHL and said he played the sport as a youngster in the Czech Republic.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get the match experience,” Cech told the club’s website. “I hope I can help this young team to achieve their goals for the season and try to win as many games as possible when I have the chance to play. 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.”

Guildford was founded in 2017 and plays in the fourth tier of British hockey.

Club head coach Milos Melicherik, a former professional hockey player from Slovakia, said: “We are very excited to have Petr join the Phoenix team and we are looking forward to seeing him in action this weekend. He has improved a lot since I first saw him on the ice and I am excited to see him play.”

The Phoenix host Swindon Wildcats on Sunday.

Cech won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three English League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League during his Chelsea career, with a further FA Cup success coming at Arsenal.

He holds the record for the most clean sheets in the Premier League.

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