From Altrincham to Austria
When we speculated that someone from Cardiff would be destined for a crack in Europe, we did not know it would not be Ben Bowns we would talk about.
David Owen, equipment manager at Manchester Storm, better known as "Dease", left for Austria, where he accepted a job offer for the EBEL team, Graz 99ers.
And as Doug Mason's team is about to face Cardiff Devils in the Champions Hockey League, Dease admits he would not have realized his intention to return home as long as he would not have researched his new employers.
"In fact, I did not pay attention to the draw at that time because Manchester was not involved and I was not interested in doing so," he laughed.
"To be honest, I was more interested in Belfast because I have a lot of friends there and 'Taff' (Jason Ellery, Giants Equipment Manager) is one of my best friends . But it was only when I started talking to Graz and exploring his website that I noticed a link with the Cardiff logo on it.
"It was at that time that I realized I would come back. I go to Graz on the 25th July and we return to Cardiff at the end of August; I will be away for a month before I can see everyone again.
"It's very surreal to know that I will come back to Cardiff, in my childhood club where I played as a junior, and then played and worked at the highest level.
Opening of employment: responsible for the equipment!
– Manchester Storm (@Mcr_Storm) on June 7, 2019
"It will be great for my children to participate in the game because they are always there with their mother, plus my parents too, so it is nice to see that with impatience."
There is no doubt that this 37-year-old puts his equipment management know-how and knows what to make use of while he and his girlfriend, Gwennan, are getting ready to go their luggage. for a new life in Austria, by downsizing and selling what they can before they leave.
But how did a Welshman working in Manchester end up being offered a job with the team that finished second at EBEL last season?
Dease explains, "One of my friends with whom I was playing in Cardiff and we kept in touch, he sent me a message at the end of the season to tell me that there were teams looking for equipment guys on the mainland and said that Graz was one of them.
"He asked me if he could propose my name, unless problems arose then I said that there was none, and that he did not think about it anymore. It's a dream and you do not see the British taking advantage of these opportunities.
"A week ago, their trainer, Doug Mason, phoned me and we talked, and then their general manager sent me a message seeking to talk the next day. I thought I thought the situation would be tricky, then the next thing you know, I'm offered a contract and the flights are booked. Everything was done and dusted.
"They asked questions about what I did, about planning, about how I manage my time, and about different situations I was in and overcame. In addition, being involved in championship teams in Cardiff and going into the CHL was very helpful.
"I traveled abroad without help, so it was a fundamental question about my experience, so it was interesting and I'm glad to take this opportunity.
"Oddly enough, In preparation knowing what to pack is exactly what I do now before leaving.It is a case of downsizing because we had all the equipment needed to get from Cardiff to Manchester.
"Last week, we randomly sold furniture on local Facebook pages to go to Austria and find out what to take."
He admits that everything has been a whirlwind since the job was offered to him and that he accepted the job last week. Dease says the fact that he's still shocked is still a shock.
And he revealed one of his concerns, namely to question his new coach, Doug Mason, about when they spoke, which was quickly put at ease.
He added, "The opportunity is huge and it's surreal to think that I managed to get a job like that. Getting the interview was amazing, but landing a job was a shock. I'm still in shock, but I'm excited about the adventure ahead.
"Who knows, it could lead to something else, but if it does not happen that way, I can always say that I did it.
"The good news for me is that I do not have to get started immediately in learning the language. This was one of the first things I asked the coach.
"Everything is English in the locker room, so as long as I can do it, everything is fine."