Leeds Knights youngsters handed chance to shine for Great Britain Under-20s at World Championships
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Carter Hamill, Archie Hazeldine and Tate Shudra have all been selected for the main roster to take part in December’s World Championships in Lithuania, while team-mate Bailey Perre is on the the reserves list.
Hamill and Hazeldine were team-mates for GB Under-18s at the World Championships earlier this year, while it marks a first call-up for forward Shudra.
Head coach Martin Grubb’s team will face hosts Lithuania, along with Croatia, Netherlands, Romania and Spain in the six-team Division II Group A tournament when it takes place at Kaunas Ice Palace December 11-17.
As it stands, it means they will miss the Knights’ home game against Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday, December 10, the following day’s trip to Raiders IHC and the home game against Bees IHC on Saturday, December 17.
Hamill said his experience with the Under-18s in Tallinn - where he scored two goals in five appearances as GB earned a bronze medal - only served to fuel his determination to make the Under-20 roster this time around.
“After signing for Leeds, my other aim for the season was to make the GB 20s team this year,” said Hamill, whose twin brother Cameron, now playing at Hull Seahawks, has missed out.
“It was a great experience playing for the 18s and getting a feel of what a World Championships is really like and it makes you realise that in the future you want to play for the GB seniors team.
“I got on the 16s team but we never got to play because of Covid and also for the first year of the 18s cycle too, so it was good to finally get out there and play in Tallinn.”
Grubb said he believed he and his coaching team have plenty of options for when they arrive in Kaunas.
“We feel we have good skating ability, skill and speed, along with a good mix of youth and experience,” said Grubb.
“The process to select the team has been thorough and the staff have watched games and video footage, as well as speaking to coaches throughout the leagues.
“When you go to these tournaments you need to make sure you have a group that can play different roles and cope with the demands of tournament hockey.
“We are happy with the balance within our group and their suitability to play in different situations.
“As with every team we pick, there are some very good players who have been unlucky to miss out, but that just shows the depth we have.
“Our long list is strong should we need to call anyone into this team and we have also planned for the future with the names on the full squad.”