Free Trial for GB Women’s Programme

Ice Sheffield is the venue on Sunday for the third and final open trial for the Great Britain Women’s squads for the 2015-16 World Championship cycle at senior, U18s and the new U16s level.

After successful events in Nottingham and Dumfries, the number of triallists is expected to top three figures and coach Cheryl Smith is still keen to see as many players as possible.

“I’ve been really excited by the talent that we have seen so far at all age groups,” Cheryl said after the Dumfries trial.

“There is an impressive pool of talent and it is up to us to make sure we keep them in the system and engaged in then GB programme for as long as possible.”

GB Under-18s will find out their World Championship fate at the IIHF congress next month, while the new U16s side opens up the national-team programme to female players from the age of 10 upwards.

“Many of the girls are still playing on mainly boys teams and aren’t getting the ice time they need or want to develop their game,” said coach Michelle Smith.

“The launch of the new under-16 side gives us a chance to bring them together with other girls from an early age.

“When they move into the under-18s and eventually the full squad, they are used to the routine of being with a national team and it’s not such a big step up for them.”

Sunday’s session at Ice Sheffield will see players at all age groups go through individual drills to test skating, passing, shooting with one on one and small sided game drills before a scrimmage later in the day.

All players should register in advance with GB team personnel. Complete the form on the Ice Hockey UK website at www.icehockeyuk.co.uk or send an email to [email protected]

Great Britain’s women play their World Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

In addition to the hosts they will face Croatia, DPR Korea, Korea and Poland. The Division 2A tournament will run from 1st to 7th April 2016.