RUSSELL NAMES 28-MAN SQUAD

Great Britain head coach Pete Russell has named a 28-man squad for two international fixtures against Poland ahead of the forthcoming IIHF World Championship in Croatia.

The squad will have a three-day training camp in Coventry ahead of the two games, after which it will be reduced to the 23 players to travel to Zagreb.

They will play hosts Croatia, as well as Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania and Romania in Division 1B.

Stephen Murphy, Jonathan Weaver, Robert Dowd, Robert Farmer and Matt Haywood are recalled to the squad having missed the recent Olympic Qualification tournament in Italy through injury.

Recent new caps Sam Oakford and Ross Venus retain their places after debuting for the national team in Cortina.

Coach Russell will take a first look at former GB Under-20 internationals Lewis Hook and Jordan Cownie, along with Nottingham Panthers’ Challenge Cup overtime-winning hero Evan Mosey.

Russell has also appointed Coventry Blaze head coach Chuck Weber to the Great Britain coaching staff.

Weber and current assistant coach Tom Watkins will support Russell in the two games against Poland and at the World Championship.

“As a coaching team we have watched a lot of hockey since Cortina,” said Russell.

“Firstly, our main aim was to select the right team and select the right players for the right positions.

“This group has a mix of talent and age, and experience. We have also decided to involve the future in this squad and their levels will be tested at our pre-competition camp.

“For me, it’s the right time and they have every opportunity to work their way into the final 23.

“We have a great pre-tournament camp planned to pull everything together on and off the ice.

“Last year the games against Poland were huge for us and they are top-level opposition.

“To be honest, there are going to be some very tough decisions for our final 23. This competition will only make our team stronger and raise the levels even higher of every player each day at camp.

“I am also delighted to announce the addition of Chuck Weber to our coaching team.

“Chuck is very organised, has great knowledge of the game and his video analysis skills are unreal.

“During the last year I have got to know him more and more. He will be a great fit for our group. He will only make our coaching team stronger.”

GB will face Poland at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham on Saturday 9th April (7:30pm), while the two sides go head-to-head in the Skydome in Coventry the next day, Sunday 10th April (5:15pm).

To buy tickets for GB against Poland at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham on Saturday 9th April, visit the NIC box office in person, log on to the National Ice Centre website www.motorpointarenanottingham.com or telephone 0843 373 3000.

To buy tickets for GB against Poland at the Skydome in Coventry, visit the Skydomebox office in person, log on to the website www.planet-ice.co.uk/arena/Coventry or call 02476 630 693.

GB SQUAD
Netminders 

Ben Bowns – Cardiff Devils
Thomas Murdy – Telford Tigers
Stephen Murphy Belfast Giants

Defencemen
Josh Batch – Cardiff Devils
Mark Garside – Belfast Giants
Steve Lee – Nottingham Panthers
Sam Oakford – Nottingham Panthers
Ben O’Connor – Sheffield Steelers
David Phillips – Manchester Storm
Mark Richardson – Cardiff Devils
Paul Swindlehurst – Manchester Storm
Jonathan Weaver – Telford Tigers

Forwards
Jonathan Boxill – Belfast Giants
David Clarke – Nottingham Panthers
Russell Cowley – Coventry Blaze
Jordan Cownie – Milton Keynes Lightning
Robert Dowd – Sheffield Steelers
Robert Farmer – Nottingham Panthers
Matt Haywood – Braehead Clan
Lewis Hook – Milton Keynes Lightning
Robert Lachowicz – Nottingham Panthers
Evan Mosey – Nottingham Panthers
Matthew Myers – Nottingham Panthers
Craig Peacock – Belfast Giants
Jonathan Phillips – Sheffield Steelers
Colin Shields – Belfast Giants
Ashley Tait – Coventry Blaze
Ross Venus – Coventry Blaze

Standby Reserves
Ben Davies – Braehead Clan
Matty Davies – Manchester Storm
Luke Ferrara – Sheffield Steelers
James Griffin Milton Keynes Lightning
Joey Lewis – Heilbronner Falken
Stevie Lyle – Swindon Wildcats
Craig Moore – Dundee Stars
Zach Sullivan – Braehead Clan
Mike Will – Cardiff Devils