'I'd have been there in seconds...' Sheffield favourite Jason Hewitt content to be cheering on Great Britain from home

Jason Hewitt would have relished the challenge of playing for Great Britain against Russia on Saturday.

By Bob Westerdale
Friday, 21st May 2021, 12:11 pm
Sheffield favourite Jason Hewitt at a Team GB camp
Sheffield favourite Jason Hewitt at a Team GB camp

Sadly for the veteran skater, he did not make the cut and will be watching GB's World Championship opener on TV, from home.

There are many fans who would like to have seen him wearing a Lions' shirt.

Especially after his energetic displays in the recent EIHL tournament, where he played an average of 15 minutes per game, and scored five goals and six assists in 16 outings.

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Hewitt, 37, wasn't selected though and while that decision hurt, he has accepted it.

"There was never a part of me where I thought I would get a call," he said. "But if they had have rung me, I'd have been there in seconds, for sure.

"The experience ahead of the team will be brilliant and I think they (GB coaching staff) have made the right decisions with who they have chosen.

"They have got to give these young guys experience and build for the future, I wish them all the luck in the world."

Hewitt said he had heard people comparing his ability with some of the players chosen over him.

"A few people were saying this and that and comparing me with players on the team, I think that is natural.

"Yes, there are guys on the team I have competed with for the past few weeks I felt pretty comfortable against.

"There is an argument for both sides, but in my opinion, they have made the right decisions."

Hewitt believes GB players will be free to express themselves in the tournament in Latvia.

"There is no pressure on them. They will have set high standards of how they want to play.

"Nobody within that tournament expects them to do anything, but it is always easier being the underdog, I think.

"There's no relegation this year, either, so hopefully they can play pressure-free hockey and gain some experience for next year" said Hewitt, who played for Steelers from 2006 until 2016.

Then, he joined Hull Pirates, before returning to Sheffield for the EIHL tournament.

Hewitt believes his ex Steelers and Steeldogs' team-mate Ben O'Connor, who chose not to play in the EIHL series will do well in the Worlds.

"I don't see the lack of minutes affecting him," said the forward.

"He will still have the highest skill level on that team and after the practices he'll have got right up to speed again.

"Benny will have kept himself in pretty good shape. He'll be fine, when you are at his skill level you don't have to worry."

After Saturday's date with Russia, GB will go on to face Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Sweden, Czech Republic and Switzerland.