Sam Oakford says it is ‘something special’ to be representing Great Britain at this week’s Olympic pre-qualifiers in Cortina.
The 25-year-old Nottingham Panthers defenseman will make his international tournament debut on Thursday when GB face Netherlands.
Oakford said: “To represent your country and to wear the GB flag – I’m a proud Brit and it is going to be a honour to be out there.
“All the boys are excited and it is something special. We have the opportunity here to do something really special.
“For me to come in and for it to be my first taste of GB is really good.”
Oakford was a late addition to the travelling party on Sunday night as a replacement for Jonathan Weaver, who broke his thumb playing for Telford in the EPL.
“On the bus back from Dundee I started to think about the week off and what I was going to get up to,” added Oakford.
“It gets to around 11 o’clock and Corey Neilson calls me to the front of the bus and says that Jonathan Weaver has broken his thumb and they’ll be taking you.
“When you are on the reserve list you are always ready. You don’t want to see anyone get hurt but you always think there might be a chance.
“A few years ago when I was sat in an office and making tea for people, I wasn’t too sure I would get to represent a great club like Nottingham, let alone be on the national team.
“For me to come over here is a great experience and I can’t wait to get going.”
(Image permission: IceHockeyMedia)