World Championships: Pete Russell includes debutant Sam Jones in Great Britain squad

Pete Russell celebrates win over France with Ben O'Connor
Pete Russell and Ben O'Connor celebrate Great Britain retaining top-flight status in the World Championship

Great Britain head coach Pete Russell has included debutant Sam Jones in his squad for the World Championships.

Five others - David Clements, Jordan Hedley, Lewis Hook, Ciaran Long and Josh Tetlow - will also be experiencing a first ever World Championship.

Russell has currently named a 27-man squad, with one final player to be added in the coming days.

"This is the pinnacle of any player's career and it will be a massive honour for them," said Russell.

"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."

Great Britain are once again competing in the top tier of the World Championships after securing their top-flight status with a dramatic overtime win against France.

Because of coronavirus there was no domestic ice hockey in the UK from March 2020 until the start of a four team Elite Series this month and, like so many other sporting events, the 2020 World Championship in Switzerland was cancelled.

So, 12 months later than expected, Great Britain will compete at the highest level of the competition in successive renewals for the first time since 1951.

The reward for doing so is to compete against the heavyweights of world ice hockey.

Russell's side will be competing in Group A alongside Russia, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Switzerland at the Olympic Sports Centre from 22 May to 1 June.

"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," said Russell.

"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."

Great Britain squad for World Championships:

Netminders - Ben Bowns, Jordan Hedley and Jackson Whistle

Defence - David Clements, Dallas Ehrhardt, Mark Garside, Sam Jones, Evan Mosey, Ben O'Connor, David Phillips and Josh Tetlow

Forwards - Ollie Betteridge, Brendan Connolly, Ben Davies, Robert Dowd, Sam Duggan, Luke Ferrara, Mike Hammond, Lewis Hook, Liam Kirk, Robert Lachowicz, Ben Lake, Ciaran Long, Matthew Myers, Brett Perlini, Jonathan Phillips and Ross Venus

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