Sheffield Steelers’ GB skaters back to regular routine

Jonathan Phillips playing for GB in Latvia
Jonathan Phillips playing for GB in Latvia
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GREAT Britain players who have returned to the Sheffield Steelers’ fold after their unsuccessful Olympics qualifying tournament will have to brush off mental rather than physical tiredness, club coach Ryan Finnerty believes.

The six skaters were back training in Sheffield yesterday after returning on Monday, from Latvia.

Finnerty accepts depleted energy levels are a possible issue, this week.

But he stressed: “It is about coming down from the high emotions of GB rather than physical tiredness. They will be gutted. But the fact is that we play (at Cardiff) tomorrow, so we don’t have the luxury of waiting for Saturday for the game.

“I told them (Mark Thomas, Ashley Tait, Danny Meyers, Rod Sarich, Jonathan Phillips, Jason Hewitt) before they went that we’d be training the day after they came back and none of them complained, they are not the type to mope around.

“As a group I thought our players did well in the GB team.

“Jonathan Phillips is one of the fastest guys in our league and he got his legs moving over there. Roddy must have clocked up more minutes than anybody, he never seemed to be off the ice.

“Generally, I thought GB played better against Latvia than they did France, but now they can all see the level they are going to have to find if they are going to do well in the World Championships in April” said Finnerty.

“For now though, they can switch off from all that and get back in the League programme.”

Finnerty will doubtless be interested in the outcome of the Nottingham Panthers v Belfast Giants match tonight, it is the first leg of the Challenge Cup semi-final.