KEEFE: GB HAVE MADE ‘EVERYONE PROUD’

Great Britain co-coach Adam Keefe says the team has made “everyone proud” with their performances at this year’s World Championship in Latvia.

GB finished seventh in Group A with four points from their seven matches and look set to improve their world ranking to 15th – up four places from their 2020 position of 19th.

A first regulation-time victory at the elite level since 1962 was the highlight as GB beat Belarus 4-3, while a point was gained in a 3-2 overtime defeat by Denmark.

“We weren’t quite sure how we would look coming into it with no exhibition games and no full Elite League season,” said Keefe.

“Some guys came in on just around 15 games played in the Elite Series. It was a heck of an effort and they have done everyone proud. They can leave with their heads held high.

“One of Pete Russell’s mantras for this tournament was ‘never give up’ and we feel the players did that. Despite some tough nights, they never gave up and kept going for a full 60 minutes.

“As a result of that, some of the results against the world’s best teams were kept to a reasonable amount. As we were competing for the full 60 minutes it allowed us to stay in those games.

“And they deserve all the credit in the world for their victory over Belarus – it was a very special moment for an amazing group of players.”

GB now turn their attentions to Finland and should know soon who they will face in their group next year and whether they will be based in Helsinki or Tampere.

“This tournament has given us a base for next year,” added Keefe. “It’s a building block year on year and you saw that with the regulation-time win and overtime defeat.

“We are improving every year and we will be aiming to go a little bit better in Finland.”

Photo: Dean Woolley.