Ice hockey: Doug Christiansen appointed Great Britain coach

Great Britain have appointed American Doug Christiansen as their new head coach.

The 35-year-old replaces Tony Hand who stepped down from the position last month after the team were relegated to Division 1B of the World Championship.

Christiansen, who had been assistant to Hand since 2012, will combine the role with coaching Sheffield Steelers.

"Being named GB coach is the biggest honour of my career. I am absolutely thrilled by the appointment," he said.

Our intent is to set a path that can be followed from the age of 16 to the top. I am excited about what we can achieve

Doug Christiansen Great Britain coach

"I would like to thank Tony Hand for all of his efforts the last two seasons. I learned a lot from him and it was a privilege to work for him.

"Hockey in Great Britain is at a crossroads. It is my vision to help push GB forward building a world-class programme."

Milwaukee-born Christiansen has previously coached Edinburgh Capitals and Belfast Giants, guiding the Northern Irish side to the Elite League title in 2011/12.

And he has promised to set his goals high in his new role.

"The Ice Hockey UK board are excited about pushing the game forward and aspiring to be like Switzerland or Norway," he added.

"Both nations that have created long-term strategic plans with tangible goals and realistic aspirations. Both have made an investment in the youth, while pushing the national team to new heights.

"Our intent is to set a path that can be followed from the age of 16 to the top. I am excited about what we can achieve."