BBC TO COVER OLYMPIC PRE-QUALIFIERS

Swindon Wildcats netminder Stevie Lyle, Nottingham Panthers defenceman Sam Oakford, Belfast Giants forward Mark Garside and Coventry Blaze forward Ross Venus have been added to Great Britain’s squad for this week’s Olympic Pre-Qualifiers in Cortina.

The quartet replace netminder Stephen Murphy, defenceman Jonathan Weaver and forwards Matt Haywood and Robert Farmer.

GB take on hosts Italy, along with Netherlands and

Swindon Wildcats netminder Stevie Lyle, Nottingham Panthers defenceman Sam Oakford, Belfast Giants forward Mark Garside and Coventry Blaze forward Ross Venus have been added to Great Britain’s squad for this week’s Olympic Pre-Qualifiers in Cortina.

The quartet replace netminder Stephen Murphy, defenceman Jonathan Weaver and forwards Matt Haywood and Robert Farmer.

GB take on hosts Italy, along with Netherlands and Serbia, in the four-team group from 11th to 14th February with the winners progressing to the final qualifying stage.

Oakford and Venus will be making their international tournament debuts for the GB Men’s squad.

Coach, Pete Russell, said: “It is unfortunate to lose four players, but there’s always a chance that could happen.

“We have depth in British players at the moment and you have to be prepared for this situation.

“Some experienced players and younger players are now getting a chance.

“Stevie Lyle will be one of the most experienced players on the roster, while Mark has lots of experience at this level.

“Sam and Ross are two exciting players and I am delighted all four players accepted last-minute calls-ups.

“I like the look of our squad and we still have quality throughout.”

Serbia, in the four-team group from 11th to 14th February with the winners progressing to the final qualifying stage.

Oakford and Venus will be making their international tournament debuts for the GB Men’s squad.

Coach, Pete Russell, said: “It is unfortunate to lose four players, but there’s always a chance that could happen.

“We have depth in British players at the moment and you have to be prepared for this situation.

“Some experienced players and younger players are now getting a chance.

“Stevie Lyle will be one of the most experienced players on the roster, while Mark has lots of experience at this level.

“Sam and Ross are two exciting players and I am delighted all four players accepted last-minute calls-ups.

“I like the look of our squad and we still have quality throughout.”

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