Former Arsenal and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech says his ice hockey debut for Guildford Phoenix is the realisation of a childhood dream.
Cech, a Champions League winner with Chelsea, produced a man-of-the-match performance as his match-winning penalty shootout save helped his new team-mates to a 3-2 victory against Swindon Wildcats 2 on Sunday.
The 37-year-old signed for Phoenix, who play in National Ice Hockey League South 2, last week after his retirement from professional football at the end of last season.
“It is kind of a childhood dream to come and play one game, which has [now] happened,” said Cech, whose penalty save as netminder maintained Phoenix’s perfect start in the third match of the season.
“Nobody will ever take this away from me, which is really nice.”
Cech hopes his surprise change of sport, in which he will compete along with working as technical and performance adviser at Chelsea, can act as motivation to youngsters to believe in accomplishing their goals.
“If you have a dream and you chase it and you do everything to make it happen… I have done that in football and all my dreams have come true,” he added.
“I said, ‘this might be the last dream I was hoping to [tick off]’. But I worked hard for it.
“I think it can act as something for the young players to know that if you chase your dreams, then good things might happen.”
Cech, who wore a custom-made helmet which carried the colours of former clubs Arsenal and Chelsea, admitted he had wanted to become an ice hockey player as a child, but his family were unable to afford the cost of the gear.