Great Britain: Who’ll break into the squad?

Great Britain’s victory at the World Championship tournament in Belfast was just reward for a squad who had narrowly missed out on promotion in the two previous years.

With the highest average aged roster in the competition next year’s roster for the Division 1A campaign could have a different look, with numerous players pushing for a spot.

We take a look at some of the possible future GB call-ups:

Jack Prince: Arguably unlucky to miss out this year after being picked in Pete Russell’s initial 28-man squad.

Prince scored GB’s goal in their first warm-up game against Poland and followed up with the shoot-out winner in the two teams’ second meeting.

If he can build on last season’s Elite League haul of 16 goals and 11 assists, Prince looks sure to come into the reckoning to make GB’s final squad next year.

Josh Batch: The defender was part of GB’s roster in 2014/15 and 15/16 and is another player who may feel he was unfortunate not to be picked by Russell.

The 26-year-old (above) helped Cardiff to the treble last season and has become a permanent fixture of their defensive unit.

With Jonathan Weaver in the twilight of his career, Batch’s previous experience with GB puts him in pole-position to be involved once again.

Liam Kirk: The 17-year-old forward has already performed well for GB’s U18 and U20 teams and seems sure to make his mark in the senior squad over the coming years.

Kirk will undoubtedly take heart from Sam Duggan’s inclusion in Belfast, with the teenager not looking out of place on the international stage.

If Kirk continues his rate of progress next season he could force his way into the GB squad.

Jordan Buesa: Also represented GB at both U18 and U20 level last term, performing with credit for both teams.

Did well with Solway Sharks in the NIHL last year, but will need to kick on in the EIHL next year if he’s to have a chance of reaching the full international squad.

Ross Venus: Like Batch, Venus was part of GB’s 14/15 and 15/16 squads but was cut from Russell’s 28-man roster for Belfast.

Venus has developed into one of the EIHL’s most reliable British players and is capable of regaining his place in 2017/18.

Jackson Whistle: The netminder was selected for the provisional squad, but was forced out through injury.

Proved himself with Belfast Giants last season and working in tandem with Stephen Murphy will only have helped his progress.

Whistle will need to overcome his injury issues moving forward, but he has the ability to challenge Ben Bowns for the starting spot when fully fit.

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