Leeds Chiefs' Ethan Hehir targets gold rush for Great Britain Under-20s
ETHAN HEHIR is hoping his week in Lithuania on international duty will produce a golden ending.
Having previously played for Great Britain Under-18s last year, Hehir has graduated to the higher age group taking part in this week’s World Championship Division 2A tournament in the capital city of Vilnius.
Coach Martin Grubb’s team get the event and their campaign underway today when they take on Japan (10am UK time) before further games throughout the week against the hosts, Romania and Spain before a final day encounter with Serbia on Sunday.
Last year, GB finished with a bronze medal with the aim being to at least improve that colour -maybe even clinch promotion to the next level.
“There’s only one aim which is to get gold and get promoted and get us moving up that ladder - the belief is high in the camp,” said Hehir, who has posted three goals and nine assists in 27 games for the Chiefs so far this season.
“We’ve had good preparations. It’s always a great experience playing for Team GB and a great honour, we’ve got a good set of lads and every year I look forward to it and enjoy it. It should be a great competition.”
Hehir’s coach at Leeds, Sam Zajac, is thrilled for the youngster’s latest opportunity on the international stage, even if it deprives him of a player he regards as among his most impressive this season.
“He has made it on merit and I can’t sing his praises highly enough,” said Zajac. “He’s been fantastic and has developed a lot since being here.
“He’s seen a lot of ice time at the highest level he has played at for his tender age and there have been a couple of games where he has been head and shoulders our best player.
“He’s the kind of lad who will always keep working at his craft and I was really happy to see him get selected.“Obviously it is a big loss for us - but I’m more than happy to go and prove himself at that level.”