GB Trials leave lots of options

The open trials for the Great Britain Women’s programme ended on Sunday night in Sheffield. Twenty-four hours later, emails had been sent to over 100 players advising them of the next stage in the process.

For many, they will come back to Sheffield in early September as part of a large training squad. Those who have not made it to the next stage will have received feedback on what they will need to improve on in order to progress.

“We’ve seen so many players and we are delighted with the response we’ve had,” said coach Cheryl Smith.

“The trials were hard work for the players and they stepped up and showed us what they could do. At all age groups we were excited by the talent on show.”

After Sunday’s trial, the coaching staff met to evaluate each player and agree on who should move forward.

“Nobody has been totally ruled out, even if they aren’t coming back in September,” said coach Michelle Smith.

“Those we felt weren’t up to the standard at this particular time will be given specific areas to work at, and if they improve then the door is always open.”

The GB coaches are looking to choose their squad earlier this season, with the aim of playing games during November’s IIHF international break ahead of the World Championship next spring.

Cheryl Smith added: “The players gave us some tough decisions to make, which is great – there is competition for places and that can only be good moving forward.

“The trials give us so many options and it’s exciting to work with these players across the whole GB Women’s programme.”

Great Britain play their Division 2A World Championship in Bled, Slovenia, from 1st to 7th April 2016.

GB U18 Women will find out their World Championship destination after IIHF Congress next month.

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