After having a brilliant career as a goalkeeper for Chelsea as well as Arsenal and assisting them into winning great awards and titles, the 37-year-old Cech retired from the game and hung his boots away for good. He started working at Chelsea as their performance and technical director, but it wasn’t time for Cech to quit the sport for good. When he had the first opportunity to pursue his first love of ice hockey, he signed the deal with Guildford Phoenix and judging on the first performance he is set to make a name for himself on ice as well.
Formerly from the Czech Republican, he had a childhood dream of playing ice hockey. When he signed on at Chelsea for football in 2004, he decided to support the Guildford Flames as his hockey team. Thus being able to play now in their development team, Guildford Phoenix, is a dream which he might have thought will never realize. During his very successful career of 15 years, Cech has been able to win every major trophy in the sport. Now he moved from top-level football to a fourth-tier ice hockey team, from playing before crowds of thousands of people to playing in front of a group of 909, a record number of people who attended a Pheonix home game. Cech has performed at the most magnificent stadiums, but the victory over the Swindon Wildcats was celebrated in the Guildford Spectrum leisure centre, and he was delighted.
Not Being the First Choice
Cech wasn’t the first choice of the team to present them in the position of goalkeeper, but his performance proved him to be an excellent choice. During the match about which Cech stated that he was surprised that he wasn’t more nervous, he managed to save two of the initial four penalties. A fifth faced him during a sudden death which occurred during overtime. As Mason Lipsey, playing for the Wild cats came dribbling towards him, he managed to save the shot low down. This instantaneously meant celebrations for Guildford Phoenix. Cech’s performance earned him the honour of the man of the match. Since this was his first competitive performance after retiring from Chelsea, he stated that he badly wanted them to win and that he is happy that they managed a victory. Cech noted that although this one game already meant so much to him, he would still try to play as much as possible considering his responsibilities even towards Chelsea.
For Cech, it seems like it was a natural shift to move from the grass to the ice. Even he was surprised with the ease and the speed with which his body switched to playing in game mode. From the great stadiums to a much humbler environment, yet for Cech, this is the pursuit of his first love, the following and realization of a childhood dream and what the future hold for him and the Guildford Pheonix seems to be filled with excitement.