Sheffield Steelers’ quartet make GB World Championships squad

GB head coach, Pete Russell. Picture courtesy of GB Hockey

GB head coach, Pete Russell. Picture courtesy of GB Hockey

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SHEFFIELD STEELERS’ Luke Ferrara has lost out on a spot at the World Championships after missing the final cut for the Great Britain squad.

Head coach Pete Russell named his 23-man squad to play at Belfast’s SSE Arena next week after two warm-up games against Poland, but there is no place for 23-year-old Ferrara.

Four of Ferrara’s Sheffield Steelers’ team-mates - Rob Dowd, Ben O’Connor, Jonathan Phillips and David Phillips – did make the cut, as did Rotherham-born first-choice netminder Ben Bowns.

As well as Ferrara – who has had another solid season under Paul Thompson and helped the Steelers clinch the Elite League play-off title in Nottingham last week – Josh Batch, Jack Prince, Zach Sullivan and Ross Venus were also released from the squad.

Ferrara played in Saturday’s 5-4 shoot-out win over Poland in Coventry, but was a healthy scratch for Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the same opponents in Nottingham.

The six-team IIHF World Championship Division 1 Group B runs from April 23-29 and pits GB against Japan, who were relegated from Division 1 Group A last year and Division 2 Group A gold-medal winners Netherlands, as well as last year’s opponents Croatia, Estonia and Lithuania.

“Cutting the squad is never easy but I believe we have 23 fantastic players who want to create some history next week,” said Russell.

“We have great balance across the squad and I think we will be very competitive. We know that the aim is the gold medal and there will be pressure on us to perform, but I believe we have the right group of players.

“The players will experience something a generation of players haven’t been able to do by playing a tournament on home ice.”

Liam Stewart is set to make his first World Championship appearance after being named in the 2015 squad in the Netherlands, but had to pull out because of injury.

Luke Ferrara - wants to return to Sheffield one day

Luke Ferrara - wants to return to Sheffield one day

Evan Mosey will fly in from North America this week to link-up with the squad for the rest of the training camp, before they depart for Belfast on Thursday.

GB squad for World Championships, Division 1B (Belfast April 23-29) - Netminders: Ben Bowns (Cardiff Devils), Stephen Murphy (Belfast Giants), Thomas Murdy (Cardiff – reserve). Defencemen: Mark Garside (Belfast), Steve Lee (Nottingham Panthers), Ben O’Connor (Sheffield Steelers), David Phillips (Sheffield Steelers), Mark Richardson (Cardiff ), Paul Swindlehurst (Manchester Storm), Jonathan Weaver (Telford Tigers). Forwards: Brendan Brooks (Fife Flyers), David Clarke (Nottingham), Russell Cowley (Coventry Blaze), Robert Dowd (Sheffield Steelers), Sam Duggan (Orebro), Robert Farmer (Nottingham), Robert Lachowicz (Nottingham), Evan Mosey (Rockford Ice Hogs, USA), Matthew Myers (Cardiff), Craig Peacock (Braehead Clan), Jonathan Phillips (Sheffield Steelers), Colin Shields (Belfast), Liam Stewart (Coventry).

GB and Sheffield Steelers' captain, Jonathan Phillips. Picture: Scott Wiggins/GB Hockey

GB and Sheffield Steelers' captain, Jonathan Phillips. Picture: Scott Wiggins/GB Hockey

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