Nicola Lazarczuk (Bicknell) and Jenny Hehir have been appointed as assistant coaches of Great Britain Under-18 Women.

Lazarczuk won 43 caps for GB between 1999 and 2008, winning a gold medal and named Best GB Player by Great Britain Supporters’ Club¬† in her final year with the team.

Domestically, she continues to play for Bracknell Queen Bees at the elite level of women’s ice hockey in the UK.

“When this job was advertised, I saw it as an opportunity to give back to the sport that provided so much for me,” said Lazarczuk. “The opportunities young female players have within the GB programme today are something I wished were in place when I was a junior player.

“I am keen to offer my experience as a past national player, coach, secondary school teacher and, more recently, an on-ice official – to support players in understanding how they can strive to be the best they can be with the opportunity they are provided with through the Great Britain programme.

“I hope to be a role model to the many talented young players that are developing throughout the country. Having been a part of the GB set-up for so many years, I am proud to share my experiences and inspire other players to reach for their goals. I am really excited to be back involved with GB and can’t wait to start working with the team.”

Hehir has a 30-year domestic playing career and is still icing now for Whitley Bay. In 2010, she captained England Women in an international tournament in Windsor, Ontario.

She has represented Great Britain in four ball hockey World Championships and was due to be GB player-coach at the Masters Ball Hockey Championship in Czech Republic in June last year, but it was postponed because of the pandemic.

Hehir said: “I am honoured to be taking up the position of assistant coach and can’t wait to get started.

“I have worked for three years coaching with the England programme, so have coached the majority of this under-18s squad at England Under-14s and Under-16s.

“I am excited to watch them progress from a development level to compete in a World Championship and I feel privileged to have the chance to contribute to preparing and coaching the girls to this next level.

“The next few age groups of girls coming through the programme are also very talented hockey players. Fingers crossed, everyone can get back on the ice soon as it could be a positive few years ahead for GB Women.”

David Hand, Chair of the Great Britain Programme Board, said: “I’d like to welcome both Nicola and Jenny to the GB women’s programme.

“Both have extensive experience in the women’s game and I believe they will be superb additions to the under-18 set-up.”