SURREAL EXPERIENCE FOR GB DEFENCEMAN TETLOW

Defenceman Josh Tetlow says his first Great Britain tournament has been a “surreal experience” so far.

GB arrived in Latvia on Sunday and have been preparing for tomorrow’s World Championship opener against Russia, who are ranked second in the world.

The 23-year-old played 10 times for GB Under-20s between 2017 and 2018, but this is first taste of action for the senior team.

The 16-team tournament is split into two groups of eight with GB based in Group A at the Olympic Sports Centre in Riga.

“I can’t wait,” said Tetlow. “It is going to be a real challenge but I think we are up for it.

“It seems like you can’t grasp it until you have played in it – that’s what I am taking from speaking with the boys so far.

“It all still seems very surreal but I am settling down. You know a bit about everyone from playing with them and against them for so long, but everyone is so welcoming and it makes you fit straight in as soon as you get here.”

GB arrived in Latvia on Sunday and spent 36 hours in single hotel room isolation, but once all players and staff returned negative covid tests, training began on Tuesday afternoon.

“It has been great to up the speed and just get everyone going as fast as we can,” Tetlow continued.

“We have worked on the systems with the way we want to play and have some bonding together as a team.

“I think we have had a really important few days and it has gone really well.”

After tomorrow’s game against Russia, GB face Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Sweden, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

All matches will be shown free-to-air on FreeSports, which is available free on Sky Channel 422, Virgin Media Channel 553, on Channel 64 on Freeview and BT and via the FreeSports Player.

Photo credit: Dean Woolley.