Signing imports can be tricky business. The process of finding a qualified player is daunting enough as it is. Combine that with integrating the player into the Steelers organization, making sure his playing style meshes with the rest of the team, and hoping his personality (on and off the field) fits in well with the other players…and you have a lot to consider. Luckily, the Steelers have a lot of great people out on the front lines recruiting players—and signing returning players. All that is to say: The Steelers are happy to announce Charles Wort has resigned for the 2018 season: “It feels great to come back to a team that I knew from my days with Kouvola Indians before joining the Steelers for the 2017 season. Steelers were everything I expected as an organization and what a year we had. Now everyone, me included, is really looking forward to the Maple league and I am sure we can make something happen there too”.
According to head coach, Pekka Utriainen, “Getting Charles back for next year is huge as he will now again be the X-factor in both offense and defense for us, given his diverse skill set and the dual passport status. I think Charlie is a perfect example of a player who nobody wants to play against, and everyone on his team feels very lucky to have him. The brutal, no nonsense way of playing football left a lasting impression on our home crowd too this past summer, and I know our fans will be as excited about this as I am.”
With 32.5 tackles, 533 rushing yards, and 210 receiving yards, Wort definitely proved his worth on the team by the end of the 2017 season. Like coach Utriainen said, Wort is the kind of player no one wants to play against. Often times, it seemed the opposing players would almost rather jump out of the way than be hit by Charles—and I wouldn’t blame them. But it didn’t take a whole season for coach Utriainen to realize how valuable Wort is as a player. When asked about Wort’s return, Utriainen reminisced on Wort’s first arrival, saying “I remember last spring when Charles first set foot on our practice field, how remarkably easy and effortless his movement on the field was, especially for a guy his size.”
Now, when Wort makes his second arrival in Finland for the 2018 season, he will no longer be a newbie on the team. Instead, Wort will have a year under his belt of working with the Steelers and, as Utriainen said, “both Charlie and us coaches will have an even a better feel on how to get the best out of Charles as a multi-purpose player.” Utriainen then went on to say, “Continuity is definitely a thing coaches like, and now having three of our import players from last year’s team returning, we will be able to kick into full gear right away. And on a personal level, all three are also great guys and it will be an honor to get to work with them again this season.”
So it may be true that recruiting imports is a daunting task, but it would seem the Steelers did a good job of it in 2017 considering all three imports will be returning for the 2018 season! According to coach Utriainen, “All things are kind of looking up at the moment, and I think everyone is looking forward to the grinding offseason ahead of us.” What with the Finnish players working hard, the added benefits to come from the continuity of re-signing all three imports, and once again having Charles Wort as a secret weapon—I for one can’t wait to see what the Steelers have in store for us next season!
Watch Wort´s highlights from here!
Marie Kressin, Steelers Media