Russell names GB captaincy team

Jonathan Phillips will captain Great Britain at the Olympic pre-qualifiers in Cortina, with David Clarke and Mark Richardson named as alternate captains.

GB have been undergoing a training camp in Coventry, ahead of the tournament which gets under way on Thursday.

They face Netherlands, Serbia and hosts Italy, with the winners progressing to the final qualifying stage for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Sheffield Steelers’ forward Phillips has been GB captain since 2011 and is set to win his 70th cap against Netherlands in the opening game on Thursday.

“It’s always a massive honour to captain your country, but I think in an Olympic tournament it is that extra bit special,” he said.

“We have a great set of guys as usual – we have a room of leaders and so many experienced guys.”

Cardiff Devils’ defenseman Richardson added: “It’s a pleasure to pull on a GB shirt and to wear an ‘A’ makes me very proud.

“We’re all looking forward to the tournament and there is already a great atmosphere in the room.”

Nottingham Panthers forward Clarke will win his 80th cap against Netherlands.

“Playing for GB is the biggest honour and one which I am so lucky to have done so many times,” said Clarke.

“I was thrilled to be asked to wear the ‘A’ for this tournament. It is great to see everyone in great spirits ahead of an important week.”

Head Coach Pete Russell said: “We have a great captaincy team and they all know the responsibility the role will entail.

“They are popular guys and very respected guys – and that is very important.”

GB fixtures

Thursday, 11th February: v Netherlands – 4.30pm UK time
Saturday, 13th February: v Serbia – 4.30pm UK time
Sunday, 14th February: v Italy – 7.45pm UK time

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