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Petr Cech: Former goalkeeper hopes to win ice hockey medal with Chelmsford Chieftains

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Former goalkeeper Petr Cech earned numerous medals during his illustrious football career.

Four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, the Champions League and Europa League – he won them all during spells with Chelsea and Arsenal.

They take on Invicta Dynamos in a two-legged, away and home, final in the National League Division One South cup.

Cech, 40, was offered the chance to step up a division by the Chieftains after spending three years with Guildford Phoenix.

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.

Burnett continued: “He’s a really interesting guy to be around. He’s not awkward around the guys. We have a laugh and a joke and it’s an honour to have someone that prestigious on the team.

“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 gives us words of wisdom and we all appreciate them. Nine times out of 10 he’s pretty nail-on-the-head, He does his job and we appreciate him being around because he’s helped us a lot.”

Chelmsford ended what has been a sometimes difficult regular season – they parted company with head coach Mark Saunders in January because of inconsistent performances – on a high with a 7-2 home win over top-of-the-table Streatham Redhawks on on 14 March.

Peter Cech won the last of his four Premier League titles with Chelsea in 2015 

Also Read: They finished fifth, level on points with Invicta, good enough to see them through to the play-offs, which will take place at Milton Keynes over the Easter weekend.

“We had quite a few ups and downs in the year, trying to find ourselves,” said Burnett.

“We’ve got a very new, young team this year, so we had to gel and find where everyone fits in together but it’s good that towards the end of the season, when things begin to become important, we’re starting to click.

“It’s good to see that we pulled together in our last big weekend, especially at home against the league winners. It means we know we’re capable of going further in the play-offs and the cup final, which should be a very interesting affair.”

The Chieftains lost all four league meetings with Invicta this season.

Burnett, though, is undaunted – especially as they will have home advantage for Sunday’s second leg at their Riverside Ice and Leisure home.

“Hockey is a big, emotional sport so [it will be great] for us to get that silverware over a team we’ve struggled with this year,” he added.

“We know we are capable of turning them over – that home game should be a big, loud crowd and we’re confident we are going to pull out the performance and get the silverware before the play-offs come around.

“No matter what the scoreline says, we just need to keep playing our game and don’t let other things influence us. If we play our style of hockey, the games will go our way.”

Written by Ibrahim Oladamola

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