Tony Hand names first squad as Great Britain head coach

Tony Hand has named his first squad since taking over as Great Britain head coach from Paul Thompson.

Hand has named a 35-man preliminary squad which will be cut to 23 ahead of this year's World Championship.

GB will compete in the six-team tournament with hosts Slovenia, along with Austria, Hungary, Japan and Ukraine, from 15-21 April.

"There is great competition for places, players who will be disappointed to be left out already," said Hand.

"That is so different from years ago when the national side had many dual-national players.

"[Assistant coach] Doug Christiansen and I really feel we have a competitive squad this year and can build on the recent success of the national team.

"We have a job on our hands to cut the squad by 12 in time for 10 April, but it is a good dilemma to have on our hands.

"The closer the World Championship gets, the more the excitement builds. There is loads of work going on behind the scenes to make sure we leave no stone unturned."

GB preliminary squad

Netminders: Ben Bowns (Sheffield Steeldogs), Nathan Craze (Edinburgh Capitals), Stephen Murphy (Belfast Giants), Geoff Woolhouse (Sheffield Steelers).

Defence: Russ Cowley (Coventry Blaze), Corey Neilson (Nottingham Panthers), Stephen Lee (Nottingham Panthers), Danny Meyers (Nottingham Panthers), Ben O'Connor (Sary-Arka Karaganda), David Phillips (SønderjyskE), Kevin Phillips (Braehead Clan), Mark Richardson (Cardiff Devils), Mark Thomas (Sheffield Steelers), Jonathan Weaver (Coventry Blaze).

Forwards: David Clarke (Nottingham Panthers), Ben Davies (Cardiff Devils), Robert Dowd (Belfast Giants), Robert Farmer (Coventry Blaze), Owen Fussey (Coventry Blaze), Mark Garside (Belfast Giants), Jason Hewitt (Sheffield Steelers), Phil Hill (Cardiff Devils), Brent Hughes (Dundee Stars), Jeff Hutchins (Dundee Stars), Leigh Jamieson (Milton Keynes Lightning), Robert Lachowicz (Nottingham Panthers), David Longstaff (Guildford Flames), Bari McKenzie (Edinburgh Capitals), Lee Mitchell (Braehead Clan), Matthew Myers (Nottingham Panthers),Aaron Nell (Swindon Wildcats), Greg Owen (Coventry Blaze), Craig Peacock (Belfast Giants), Jonathan Phillips (Sheffield Steelers), Colin Shields (Morzine-Avoriaz).