Sandrock turns back clock as Belfast Giants return to Europe
Robby Sandrock is challenging his Belfast Giants team-mates to grab the opportunity to take their career to the next level by impressing on the European stage — just as he did a decade ago.
Sandrock was one of the stars of the Giants run to the Continental Cup Super Final back in the 2002-03 season and that was enough to earn a move to lucrative German DEL.
After spending 10 years in Germany and Austria Sandrock returned to Belfast in the summer and his experience will be key as Doug Christiansen’s men face Dutch club Eaters Geleen in the group opener today.
“I have great memories of playing in the Continental Cup the last time,” said Sandrock.
“I was only new to the league, it was my first time in Europe and my first experience of playing against the top European teams.
“It gave me the opportunity to show what I could do to a wider audience and it definitely helped me further my career.
“I’ve had my time at that level. I don’t have too many years left, but for the younger players in our team this is a chance for them to go out and impress and maybe get to a league where they can earn more money and become better players with better players around them.”
If the Giants can win today’s game it will set up a huge clash with the tournament hosts, German second tier leaders the Landshut Cannibals tomorrow evening, with the winners of that game expected to claim the one qualification berth for the third round of the competition next month.
“We have a really good chance of going to the next stage and writing another chapter in the history of the Giants, just like we did in Lugano 10 years ago,” said Sandrock.
“We’re going there wanting to win and expecting to win.
“We’ve been successful so far this season. We played a Dutch team in pre-season and we expect to beat Geleen.
“We don’t know a lot about the Romanian team, but we expect to beat them too.
“Landshut are a good team, they are top of their league, but if we are going win the group then we have to beat them and I expect us to do that.”
e ELITE League disciplinary chiefs have thrown out the Sheffield Steelers appeal to have Belfast Giants forward Greg Stewart suspended following an incident during Sunday night’s game in Yorkshire.
A league statement said: “Sheffield Steelers asked the committee to look at the game DVD concerning Gregory Stewart potentially leaving the bench to fight Tom Sestito. The committee has reviewed the DVD and Stewart does not leave the bench to fight, so no further action will be taken.”