GB U18 CONFIRM LEADERSHIP GROUP

Grubb has named his leadership group for the tournament, announcing it on the ice this morning to the whole squad.

Sam Duggan will be captain, with Ben Nethersell and Kyle Smith as his assistant captains.

Originally with Bracknell, forward Sam Duggan plays with Orebro in Sweden and is one of the most experienced internationals in the squad with four U18 and U20 tournaments under his belt before this week in Romania.

Defenceman Kyle Smith skates with Okanagan UK but was a product of the Sheffield junior development system.

Smith’s OHA teammate Ben Nethersell rounds off the captaincy trio. Both Smith and Nethersell have seen ice time in EPL and NIHL with Swindon this season in addition to their OHA commitments.

Speaking on the appointments, coach Grubb said: “There is a lot of leadership experience in the squad so it was difficult to narrow to just these three.

“That said, Sam Duggan was a natural choice as captain. He’s captain of his side in Sweden which is almost unheard of having a British captain on a Swedish team. He commands respect and is desperate to sign off his under 18 career on a high in Romania.

“Kyle and Ben have captaincy experience with their club and at Conference level. Ben is someone who leads by example while Kyle is more vocal and more of a character but both will do what is needed this week.”

Having missed out on the U20 in December through injury, captain Duggan can’t wait to get going: “It’s a great honour just playing for GB so to be given the accolade of captain is something very special to me. It makes the hard work over the years pay off.

“We have a good balance with experienced guys who have been here before and can lead the way, plus younger guys who bring a lot of energy.”

Assistant captain Smith added: “It’s amazing to be selected and being asked to help lead the team. I’ve been a captain on teams before but GB is a step up – everything has to be on point.”

Nethersell said: “It is an honour just to play for your country but to a captain as well is a great experience. There’s a lot of returning guys from last year, we have a good team chemistry and we’re ready to play.”

Great Britain U18 are in Coventry today before flying to Romania on Saturday. They begin their IIHF U18 Division 2A on Monday.