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Devils elect a Pope for top job.

Byline: By Terry Phillips South Wales Echo

Brent Pope has been named Cardidd Devils' general manager for next season. Former Devils defenceman Pope was appointed today and will work closely with player-coach Gerad Adams on recruiting the Elite League team for the new campaign.

Popes role includes remaining bench coach plus duties in marketing and administration work.

Brent will also have input on the playing side including the budget, said Adams.

Our relationship is businesslike and thats what is needed.

We dont get together too much away from hockey and that is a good thing from a team point of view.

When we talk at length its down to business.

Ontario-born Pope, 34, played for Wheeling Thunderbirds and Cape Breton Oilers before coming to Britain where he played for Cardiff when they won the Superleague title in 1997 and the play-off Championship the following season.

Pope has also played for Nottingham Panthers, London Knights (and later London Racers), Solihull, Basingstoke and Sheffield Scimitars.

Cardiff Devils interviewed both Pope, who rejoined the club during last season as bench coach, and ex-Devils player Dion Darling for post of club general manager, finally making their decision yesterday.

I am genuinely excited about this opportunity, said Pope, who spent several hours yesterday in talks with Adams and the new club owners.

Gerad and I worked well after I became bench coach last season and I fully endorse and support him.

Cardiff Devils need stability and I will do everything I can to start that process.

Adams is back in Canada and will spend three weeks in talks with players he wants to sign for next season.

Player-coach Adams will have talks with former Devils defenceman Mike Garrow about returning to the club, while he also has meetings or telephone discussions set up with Max Birbraer, Mark Smith and more.

Im going to be a busy man, said Adams.

These three weeks will really shape how our recruitment programme is going.

I know the players I want to sign, both imports and home-grown British guys, and we will do everything possible to ensure they come to Cardiff.

We wont be wasting any time.

After all the delays of last season we really need to make certain we are ready this time.

Pope is in Cardiff and will be talking to British players including Phil Hill, Neil Francis, Alex Symonds, Nicky Lewis and a couple who have not been with the Devils before.

Mark Richardson has signed for Nottingham and Lee Richardson is going to play for Swindon next season, while Russ Cowley looks likely to rejoin Coventry Blaze.

Plans for 2007-2008 are moving ahead quickly following the sale of Cardiff Devils by Bob and Maraini Phillips to new owners.

An ice time deal has been agreed with Planet Ice, who manage the Cardiff Bay rink.
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Title Annotation:Sport Ice Hockey
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 11, 2007
Words:470
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