Doug Christiansen names six Belfast players in GB squad

Doug Christiansen

Britain coach Doug Christiansen has named six Belfast Giants players in an initial 28-man squad for next month's Division 1B World Championships.

Christiansen includes Stephen Murphy, Kevin Phillips, Mark Garside, Craig Peacock and Colin Shields who played for him during his time in Belfast.

The other Giants player named in the squad is David Phillips.

Elite League champions Belfast lead the representation while Sheffield and Nottingham both provide five players.

The squad will be whittled down to 23 players for the tournament which will start in Lithuania on 30 April.

The group will meet up for a training camp in Coventry before matches against Holland on 12 and 13 April, following which Christiansen will reduce his squad to 23

GB will be looking to bounce back following relegation from Division 1A last year and are the highest ranked team in the tournament where they will face the Dutch again alongside the hosts, Croatia, Poland and Romania.

"All 28 players will play in at least one of the two Netherlands games," said Christiansen, who is now bench coach at Dundee after being sacked by Sheffield last month.

"I know last season the training camp in Manchester helped determine a number of player selections.

"My goal is to get the players who are playing the best and will be most committed to the team.

"I am hopeful that a couple younger players will emerge and learn from the veteran leaders that have been so successful over the years."

Christiansen, 35, left Belfast Giants to take over at Sheffield a year ago.

Great Britain squad: Bowns (Hull), Murphy (Belfast), Will (Braehead); Griffin (Coventry), Lee (Nottingham), McCluskey (Dundee), Meyers (Sheffield), O'Connor (Arlan Kokshetau), D Phillips (Belfast), K Phillips (Belfast), Richardson (Cardiff), Swindlehurst (Dundee), Weaver (Nottingham); Clarke (Nottingham), B Davies (Cardiff), M Davies (Hull), Dowd (Sheffield), Farmer (Nottingham), Garside (Belfast), Hewitt (Sheffield), Hill (Sheffield), Lachowicz (Nottingham), Myers (Cardiff), Peacock (Belfast), J Phillips (Sheffield), Shields (Belfast), Tait (Coventry Blaze), Towe (Braehead).