Dream comes true for Sheffield Steelers' star

Some would regard it as a Mission Impossible.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 9:54 am

But for Brendan Connolly it represents a challenge of a lifetime - and one he is going to cherish forever.

The Sheffield Steelers' centreman will be among a 28-player Great Britain roster later competing in the World Championship in Latvia, this month.

Playing Russia, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Sweden, Czech Republic and Switzerland between May 22 and June 1 is not for the faint-hearted.

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Some of the best players on earth will be lying in wait.

Connolly has never backed down from a challenge in his life though - and he's ready to embrace this one.

"For me personally, the opportunity to play for Great Britain and compete in the World Championships is really a dream come true and an extreme honour for me," he told The Star.

"It is definitely a major highlight in my career.

Brendan Connolly, a major asset to GB. Pic Dean Woolley.
Brendan Connolly, a major asset to GB. Pic Dean Woolley.

"Right now I’m in Coventry training for the Championships.

"We’ve been hard at work practising twice a day trying to get everyone up to speed for what will be some very tough challenges in the Worlds.

"As a team we are trying to do our best at nailing down our systems and trying to be the best version of GB we can be. Yes Russia will be very difficult but all the games will."

Connolly will be team-mates with Steeler colleagues Jonathan Phillips, Robert Dowd, Liam Kirk, Sam Jones, Matt Myers, David Phillips and Steeldogs' Ben O'Connor.

Lian Kirk: a great future awaits him. Pic Podium Prints

GB will be looking for Dowd and Kirk to find the net as often as humanly possible when split-second chances come their way.

"Robert Dowd and Liam Kirk are both tremendous players and I really look forward to playing with them both in the Worlds," said Connolly.

"This is obviously a big tournament for Kirky to showcase his abilities and get himself known on a international scale and help him further his career.

"He really is an exceptional talent and hopefully this tournament will help him get recognised."

Meanwhile, the EIHL have announced that League games for season 2021-22 should start on the weekend of September 25-26 and will run through to the Playoff Finals weekend on April 23-24, 2022.

The club fixtures are likely to be declared in July.

The sport will be hoping to welcome spectators back into the rinks after the long Covid 19 lockdown.

Swindon Wildcats have re-signed forward Bálint Pákozdi for the 2021-22 NIHL season. He scored a couple of assists in his nine games with Steelers in the EIHL series.