Coach Cheryl Smith going for gold with GB Women at World Championships

AIMING HIGH: GB Women head  coach, Cheryl Smith. Picture courtesy of Karl Denham/IHUK.
AIMING HIGH: GB Women head coach, Cheryl Smith. Picture courtesy of Karl Denham/IHUK.
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HEAD COACH Cheryl Smith has set the bar high for this year’s world championships for Great Britain Women by targeting a gold medal and promotion.

Britain will host the six-team Division II Group A tournament on home ice at Dumfries Ice Bowl from April 2-8 when they will face-off against Australia, DPR Korea, Mexico, Slovenia and Spain.

The group winners are promoted to Division I with the hosts going in as top seeds.

Smith and her coaching team named their squad for the tournament earlier this week, with an emphasis being placed on youth, with five debutants on the roster and the average age of the squad now 21.

Since Sheffield-born Smith took over as head coach four years ago she has led the team to two silvers and two bronzes, with last year’s tournament in Slovenia seeing them edged out of the gold medal promotion spot by the Netherlands, who beat them 4-0 on the final day.

This time around, however, Smith is determined to ensure it is her young team who are celebrating on the final day.

You have to lay it on the table as to what the expectations are so that there is a clear picture when we get to Dumfries.

Cheryl Smith

“We are the top seed, so I’m not afraid to put it out there – the bottom line is we want a gold medal,” said Smith.

“You have to lay it on the table as to what the expectations are so that there is a clear picture when we get to Dumfries.”

Smith said she felt the need to freshen her roster up last summer in an attempt to find the right combinations that can help deliver promotion to the next level.

“It had become a little stagnant,” explained Smith, “You’ve got to bring a team together that is willing to do whatever it takes to get over the line. It’s about bringing those players together and finding a way forward.”