Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has joined British ice hockey side Guildford Phoenix as a netminder in a shock announcement on Wednesday October 9th.
The 37-year-old last played for Arsenal before retiring from football at the end of last season. Soon after, he announced that he would join former club Chelsea as a technical and performance advisor.
But Cech's competitive spirit has not entirely died, and he looks set for a new challenge as he signed a year contract with Guildford Phoenix. AFP reported that Cech spoke to the club website and said he was excited about his new challenge.
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get the match experience," Cech said.
"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."
The news will surprise many as Cech had offers to continue playing top-level football last season as clubs such as Napoli and Roma were rumoured to be interested in him. But the former Czech international rejected all offers and decided to retire.
He has also not left his role as technical and performance advisor at Chelsea and will only play ice hockey in his spare time.
Cech had a highly successful career 14-year spell in English football and is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Premier League history.
He won four Premier League titles, four FA-Cups, three League Cups, the Champions League and a Europa League. But he claimed that hockey was the sport he loved at a young age and could not wait to get started.
"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," he said.
Guildford Phoenix were founded in 2017 and will be happy with the exposure and new fans this news may bring them.