English Premier League

Guildford Phoenix

Petr Cech trades soccer goal for hockey net, signs with Guildford Phoenix

Petr Cech is no longer tending goal in soccer after retiring in May following a 20-year career that included time at Chelsea and Arsenal of the English Premier League where he won the league title and FA Cup four times, as well as the 2011-12 Champions League.

A side hobby of the the 37-year-old former Czech goalkeeper, who is currently Chelsea’s Technical And Performance Advisor, ย has been playing goal in hockey, and he was recently given the chance to get between the pipes with the National Ice Hockey League’s Guildford Phoenix for practice in August.

That practice opportunity has now turned into a full-fledged contract as Cech signed with the Phoenix on Wednesday and is expected to make his debut on Sunday against the Swindon Wildcats.

 

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get the match experience,” Cech told the Phoenix 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.ย 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.”

Hockey has always been in Cech’s blood, but there was one main reason why he eventually landed with soccer, as told Arsenal TV in 2016.

“I always wanted to play ice hockey as a kid, it was always my first choice but at that time you would have to buy all the equipment, so you can imagine the financial aspect of that,” he said.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.