Steeler Sam gets first ever GB cap

Sam Jones, the new Sheffield Steelers defenceman, will be joining seven other Sheffield players in Great Britain Head Coach Peter Russell's team for next month’s World Championship in Latvia.
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Jones's selection is a huge compliment to a 23-year-old player still finding his feet at the South Yorkshire club.

It shows how much Russell has been impressed by him during the current EIHL series.

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Jones will be in the company of Steelers Davey Phillips, Brendan Connolly, Robert Dowd, Liam Kirk, Matthew Myers and Jonathan Phillips.

In: Sam Jones. Pic Dean Woolley.In: Sam Jones. Pic Dean Woolley.
In: Sam Jones. Pic Dean Woolley.

GB mainstay Ben O’Connor, of the Sheffield Steeldogs, has also made the cut.

But there is no place for Josh Waller, who is making an impact with Steelers in the mini series.

Countries can select a 28-player roster for this year’s tournament and Russell has announced an initial 27, with one player to be added in the coming days.

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Five players - David Clements, Jordan Hedley, Lewis Hook, Ciaran Long and Josh Tetlow - are named in a full World Championship squad for the first time after previously representing GB as a junior, while Steeler Jones gets a first-ever Great Britain call-up.

Out: Josh Waller. Pic Dean WoolleyOut: Josh Waller. Pic Dean Woolley
Out: Josh Waller. Pic Dean Woolley

GB are in Group A - based in the Olympic Sports Centre - where they will come up against Russia, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Sweden, Czech Republic and Switzerland between 22nd May and 1st June.

Head Coach, Pete Russell, said: “As with any Great Britain squad, the coaching staff had many difficult decisions to make concerning this year’s team.

“A number of core GB players are unavailable for selection and we will miss those players for sure, but I still feel we have some great depth across our roster.

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“Once again, this is the pinnacle of any player's career and it will be a massive honour for them to step onto the ice against some of the best teams in the world.

Ben O'Connor, pic by Podium PrintsBen O'Connor, pic by Podium Prints
Ben O'Connor, pic by Podium Prints

“Much of this has been made possible by the Elite Series and I would like to thank the Elite League once again for their assistance and providing an opportunity for British players to get competitive hockey under their belt this season.

"The squad has a good mixture of experience and fantastic young talent, but I do want to give a special mention to two players - Joe Hazeldine and Josh Waller - who just missed out. They are exciting prospects for the future and their day will come - and what I will say is that if anyone has to pull out, they will be on the plane.”

GB roster (players listed by their Elite Series/NIHL Cup club or current club if playing in Europe)NetmindersBen Bowns - Nottingham PanthersJordan Hedley - Coventry BlazeJackson Whistle - Nottingham PanthersDefenceDavid Clements - Coventry BlazeDallas Ehrhardt - Manchester StormMark Garside - Nottingham PanthersSam Jones - Sheffield SteelersEvan Mosey - EHC FreiburgBen O’Connor - Sheffield SteeldogsDavid Phillips - Sheffield SteelersJosh Tetlow - Nottingham PanthersForwardsOllie Betteridge - Nottingham PanthersBrendan Connolly - Sheffield SteelersBen Davies - Manchester StormRobert Dowd - Sheffield SteelersSam Duggan - Coventry BlazeLuke Ferrara - Coventry BlazeMike Hammond - Coventry BlazeLewis Hook - Nottingham PanthersLiam Kirk - Sheffield SteelersRobert Lachowicz - Nottingham PanthersBen Lake - Manchester StormCiaran Long - Manchester StormMatthew Myers - Sheffield SteelersBrett Perlini - Nottingham PanthersJonathan Phillips - Sheffield SteelersRoss Venus - Coventry Blaze