October 9, 2019 10:25:47 PM
Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has joined British ice hockey team the Guildford Phoenix.
The 37-year-old, who retired from playing football in the summer and rejoined Chelsea in an off-field role, has signed for Guildford as a goaltender.
Cech said he played the sport as a youngster in the Czech Republic.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get the match experience,” Cech told the club’s 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.
“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.”
Chelsea said Cech would be available to play for Guildford when his schedule with the Blues allowed it.
Cech added his Twitter account: “Some people seem to think I changed my job. No I didn’t. Luckily my job as the Technical and Performance adviser at Chelsea FC doesn’t stop me in my spare time from playing the game I loved as a kid and which I’ve been playing for years. While being professional footballer I couldn’t play the games for obvious reason … now I can.”
Guildford, who were founded in 2017, are in the fourth tier of Britain’s ice hockey pyramid.
Club head coach Milos Melicherik, a former professional hockey player from Slovakia, said: “We are very excited to have Petr join the Phoenix team and we are looking forward to seeing him in action this weekend. He has improved a lot since I first saw him on the ice and I am excited to see him play.”
The Phoenix host Swindon Wildcats 2 on Sunday.
Cech won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League during his Chelsea career, with a further FA Cup success coming at Arsenal.
He holds the record for the most clean sheets in the Premier League.