Football

What the Cech? Petr Cech trades in goalkeeper gloves for ice skates

Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has moved into a post-football career. The former No. 1 has made the unorthodox move of leaving professional football and joining British ice hockey team Guildford Phoenix as the team’s new goalie.

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It is safe to say the National Ice Hockey League club has received its most Google searches today following Cech’s announcement of joining them. Cech is a lifelong ice hockey fan and has spent time on the ice following his retirement from football.

Guildford Phoenix play in the second-tier of the ice hockey pyramid in Britain. It is safe to say Cech’s signing is one of their most headline catching they have ever made.

Fans expecting to see the Chelsea technical and performance advisor play in the crease in an upcoming match will be sorely disappointed. Cech is slated to be the Phoenix’s third-choice goalie and will only play when his Chelsea schedule allows.

Cech is the latest ex-footballer to try his hand at another sport. The game has been filled with players trying out other sports once retiring including fellow former goalkeeper Tim Wiese who joined the WWE’s Performance Center.

Petr Cech: One of the PL’s best glovesman

The former Cech Republic No. 1 appeared in 443 Premier League matches in his career after arriving at Chelsea in 2004. Cech kept 202 clean sheets during his time with both Chelsea and Arsenal.

The goalkeeper amassed a brilliant 280 wins and just 76 losses. Cech was also a four-time Premier League and four-time Golden Glove winner.

Cech outlined his hopes for the future in ice hockey on the Guildford Phoenix’s website.

“I hope I can help this young team achieve their goals,” Cech said.

“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.

“Luckily my job at Chelsea 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 a professional footballer I couldn’t play the game for obvious reasons. Now I can.”

Cech will be on the Guildford bench on Sunday when the team plays Swindon Wildcats 2. There could be plenty of new fans in attendance to see the netminder take to the ice. Who knows? Cech could make his goalie debut depending on the game’s result.

Despite being 37, Cech will take his new role of stopping pucks just as seriously as saving footballs. Guildford should be in good heads in the crease if Cech gets on the ice.