Cheryl Smith and Michelle Smith have been confirmed as head coaches of the Great Britain Women program.
The Sheffield-born twins, who also represented GB Women as players from 1995 to 2001, initially took over the coaching role of the team on a short-term basis ahead of this year’s World Championship.
The duo led GB to a silver medal in the Division 2A tournament in Dumfries, within a whisker of the gold and promotion to Division 1B but lost the final game to Kazakhstan.
They will now be head coaches of GB Women, oversee the U18 Women and the newly formed GB Under-16s Women – and also have input on players from as young as 10 in the new set-up.
A full coaching structure for the GB Women’s program will be announced very shortly.
Ice Hockey UK chairman, Jim Anderson, said: “The girls are so well respected in ice hockey and they did a brilliant job at the World Championship when asked to lead the team at short notice.
“They will now be in charge of the GB women’s team from top to bottom and they have some very exciting plans for the future.
“These are very exciting times for women’s ice hockey and Cheryl and Michelle are the right people to take us forward.”
Cheryl Smith: “It is a massive honour to take the job on a permanent basis.
“Michelle and I have so much passion for the program and cannot wait to implement more ideas to take us forward.
“We are very much building for the future and have a squad of players which can take us to the next level.
“The addition of the GB Under-16s Women is massive for us and will provide a platform for the younger players to make the step up.”
Michelle Smith said: “I am very excited to be appointed officially to this role and look forward to the challenges ahead.
“We are making great strides on and off the ice as a team and we have many plans to make us improve even further.
“We are in the process of appointing a fantastic group of on-ice and off-ice staff, who will be a major part of the program.”