AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE SO FAR, SAYS KIRK

Forward Liam Kirk says the start of his first World Championship trip with Great Britain has been an “amazing experience so far”.

The 18-year-old was named in Pete Russell’s 23-man squad for the World Championship Division I Group A in Budapest after an impressive season with Sheffield Steelers.

“It has been very special so far and you can tell it is just one step away from the top level,” said Kirk.

“The facilities here are fantastic and the teams we are going to play will be top quality.

“I have been watching Slovenia practice and they seem exceptional.”

GB had their first training session in the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna today after training in the smaller Vasas Ice Centre venue on Friday.

Kirk won the gold medal with GB at the U18 World Championship Division II Group A at the start of the month and he says he has already noticed a massive difference in the two tournaments.

“Winning the gold medal was very special but this level of hockey is something else,” continued Kirk.

“Just seeing the amount of media interest and the set-up here in the arena shows how important this tournament is.

“I have been welcomed into the dressing room by the team and it was useful that I have played with and against this guys this season.

“It’s great to be part of this roster and I am looking forward to the tournament.”

GB begin their tournament tomorrow when they face Slovenia at 12:30pm (11:30am UK time).

There’ll be live TV coverage on FreeSports with Aaron Murphy and Paul Adey, as well as full-match radio commentary on the BBC Sport website with Seth Bennett.

Photo credit: Dean Woolley.