Cheryl Smith predicts bright future for GB Women after silver medal at World Championships in Dumfries

The GB squad and support staff display their silver medals in Dumfries. Picture: Karl Denham/IHUK.
The GB squad and support staff display their silver medals in Dumfries. Picture: Karl Denham/IHUK.
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THE gold medal sought may not have been secured but Great Britain Women head coach Cheryl Smith insisted there were plenty of positives to take from the World Championships in Dumfries.

GB beat DPR Korea 2-1 in their final game to record their fourth win at the tournament to finish a point behind gold-medal winners Slovenia, who were promoted from Division II Group A.

Throughout the week, GB gave five debut caps including 15-year-old Chloe Headland, 16-year-old Lucy Beal and 17-year-old Aimee Headland, who scored two goals in her first tournament. The average age of Smith’s squad was just 22.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on gold, Smith said: “I am not going to lie, we came to the tournament with the aim of gold and we said that publicly.

“It hasn’t gone our way this week but the coaching staff will take many positives from what we have seen. The girls can hold their heads up high as they gave everything on the ice and left nothing behind.”

Smith believes what the last week has highlighted so clearly is the future of the women’s game at an international leve.

GB Women head coach, Cheryl Smith. Picture: Karl Denham/IHUK.

GB Women head coach, Cheryl Smith. Picture: Karl Denham/IHUK.

“With the mix of experience and young players, I think the future is very safe hands,” she added. “There are many more in the pipeline so we have plenty to be excited about. The coaching staff believe these players can challenge for a place on the roster next year.”

GB’s win over Korea meant that Spain, who were only promoted last season and were sixth seeds, took home the bronze in their first year at this level.

Slovenia had earlier guaranteed themselves bronze with a 7-1 win over Mexico in the final day’s first game, earning promotion to Division 1 B for the first time in their history.

In Monday night’s final encounter, GB fell behind early on when Jang Hyang put DPR Korea ahead on a delayed penalty, reacting first to a loose puck in front at 2.59.

It hasn’t gone our way this week but the coaching staff will take many positives from what we have seen. The girls can hold their heads up high as they gave everything on the ice and left nothing behind.

GB head coach, Cheryl Smith

GB grew stronger as the period went on and Kim Lane, Shannon Douglas and Steph Towns all went close, while Katie Marsden hit the base of the left-hand post.

The game was won in the second period, however. Marsden forced a good pad save out of So Jong Sim early on before the hosts equalised when Lane netted from close range for her second goal of the tournament at 27.49.

GB looked the most likely to score again and Shannon Douglas slotted in a rebound after Towns had seen her shot saved 34.40.

Shannon Douglas hits home the rebound for what proved to be GB's winniong goal against Korea on Monday night. Picture: Karl Denham/IHUK.

Shannon Douglas hits home the rebound for what proved to be GB's winniong goal against Korea on Monday night. Picture: Karl Denham/IHUK.