Martin Grubb will take on the role of Head Coach of Great Britain U20 at this month’s World Championship (Division 1B) as Tom Watkins is unable to attend due to club commitments.
Paul Heavey and Slava Koulikov will continue as assistant coaches.
Kirkcaldy-born Grubb is currently in charge of GB U18 and domestically is Solway Sharks’ Head Coach in NIHL North.
GB, who won a bronze medal in France last year, will take on hosts Hungary, as well as Slovenia, Poland, Italy and Ukraine.
The six-team tournament runs from 11th to 17th December at the Jegpalota Ice Centre in Budapest. If you fancy a wager on international matches check out these ice hockey betting offers.
Grubb said: “It will be an honour to step up and coach the Great Britain U20 team in Budapest.
“Most of the players I have coached at U18 level, so I know what a great group they are. There will be a great coaching staff around me and I know everyone is excited for the challenge.”
Watkins is coach of EPL side Telford Tigers and is currently having to take a lead in working through challenging off-ice financial issues.
“This is not a decision I have taken lightly – I’m really gutted I had to make this call,” he said.
“I’m so proud to be in the GB coaching set-up, but this is a difficult and unusual time for Telford Tigers. I know the coaches and staff will do a fantastic job.”
Ice Hockey UK Head Development Coach Tony Hand said: “It’s a real shame we are losing Tom this month, but we understand he’s in a very challenging position.
“However, I’m certain Martin, Paul, Slava and Karl Creamer will do a great job. They have a lot of experience and I’m confident the team will have an excellent tournament.”
(Image permission: David Morrison)