Four years after hanging up his gloves former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has the chance to add another piece of silverware for British ice hockey club Chelmsford Chieftains this weekend.
Cech, who won four Premier League titles, the Champions League and five FA Cups for Chelsea, is now fulfilling a boyhood dream as a netminder for the Essex club.
The 40-year-old will be part of the squad against Invicta Dynamos in the two-legged National League Division One South Cup final, having joined the second-tier outfit last year.
Cech previously impressed at a lower level for Guildford Phoenix after retiring from football.
“He’s brought an element of calmness and has joined in with the group well,” captain Callum Burnett told BBC Essex.
“In his last few games, he’s been really impressive so we’re happy to have him in there, and we trust him.”
Cech made his debut for the Chieftains in November against Oxford City Stars and earned the man-of-the-match award.
Burnett says Cech’s previous experiences rub off on his team mates, even if he is a comparative rookie at stopping a puck.
“We understand where he’s been and his past, but he understands this is a different sport, this is our game and it’s very different to football,” he said.
“He gives us words of wisdom and we all appreciate them. Nine times out of 10 he hits the nail-on-the-head. He does his job and we appreciate him being around.”
Cech suffered a depressed skull fracture playing for Chelsea in 2006 and wore protective headgear after that but that has not put him off the often brutal world of ice hockey.
“I still have that feeling in myself because I want to perform. I want to win. I hate losing. It’s the same feeling I had when I played football,” he said.
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