2008 IIHF Inline World Championship squad named

Sunday, 27th April 2008

The Great Britain Men's team today announced their roster for the International Ice Hockey Federation's Inline World Championships to be held in Bratislava, Slovakia June 20th-June 28th. Great Britain will take sixteen players to Slovakia where the team for the third year running will be looking to achieve promotion to the world's top eight nations.

This year's roster features three debutants, nine returnees from the 2007 tournament and four players who return to the line-up from previous World Championships including British Ice Hockey International Mark Thomas (24) of the bmibaby Elite Ice Hockey League Sheffield Steelers.

Great Britain also welcomes back from last year's team their three all-time top scorers in John Dolan (Dundee Stars), Simon Hehir (Billingham Bombers / Durham Destroyers) and Andrew Sillitoe (Tunbridge Wells Inline / Staring Frogs).

Veteran star Sillitoe will become the first player to appear for GB for the tenth successive year, (his sixth in the tournament's current format). All time top scorer Dolan meanwhile is just seven points short of 100 for GB with 53 goals and 40 assists for 93 points.

Also returning from 2007 are Chris Colegate (EPL Nottingham Lions / Rollersnakes), Joe Wightman (Rollersnakes), Stu Brian (Cruisers), Alex Pearman (Hallamshire Hornets), Remi Moses (Manchester Warriors / Durham Destroyers) and goaltender James Tanner (London Street Warriors).

Three players will make their IIHF tournament debuts: Twenty-year old 6 foot 5 inch Goaltender Benn Schofield of the bmibaby Elite Ice Hockey League Manchester Phoenix (and inline's Projoy Warriors) will make his first appearance at this level while Tim McKay, 26, of the Solway Sharks (ice) and Kingston Panthers (inline) and Scott Glover, 26, of the Nottingham Lions and inline's Rollersnakes also appear for the first time.

Also returning to the team for the first time since 2002 is Mark Hallam (25) of the Hallamshire Hornets who makes the line-up after a very impressive performance in the trials. Mark Corfield (Rollersnakes) also returns for the first time since winning a gold medal in 2006, while Karl Niamatali (Blackpool Raiders) makes his return after last appearing in the Division One bronze medal winning team in 2005.

"Every year this tournament gets tougher and is a greater challenge than the one before it," admits Head Coach Crawley, "Last year we came very close to promotion and just missed out but couldn't regroup to challenge for a medal in Division One, this year we have the objective of promotion, but if that cannot be attained in the playoff then we will compete for a medal."

On his first roster announcement Crawley also admits the role of Head Coach can be tough. "There are a fair few guys who we were close to taking and making those kinds of calls is always going to be really difficult.We're taking sixteen guys who we believe can help us achieve our objectives but that's not to say there aren't guys back home who could have also done a job for us. The challenge for those who didn't make it is to come back stronger at the trials next year and try to make the line-up in 2009.

"I'm confident in the abilities of the players we are taking and I know we will work hard, compete hard and try to bring back something for the good of the game here."

The final roster will meet up in May and June prior to flying out on Friday June 20th with their first game against Australia on June 22nd. After that they will play Brazil June 23rd and Bulgaria on June 24th before a possible promotion game on June 25th and quarterfinals on June 26th.

Last year the team narrowly missed out promotion to the Elite division, going down to a 6-5 overtime defeat against Austria in the mid-tournament promotion playoff. This year the team could face Austria again, last year's World Champions Sweden, Slovenia or hosts Slovakia in the promotion game, if they can top their preliminary round group. That will not be easy however with last year's Division One Champions Brazil and Australia in their group. Bulgaria will be making their debut in the tournament.

2008 IIHF In-Line Team Great Britain Roster
Name Pos Caps Goals Ass Pts Club
Stuart Brian F 20 7 7 14 Cruisers
Chris Colgate F 13 11 9 20 Nott Rollersnakes
Mark Corfield D 14 0 4 4 Nott Rollersnakes
John Dolan F 32 53 40 93 Dundee Stars (Ice)
Scott Glover* D 0 0 0 0 Nott Rollersnakes
Mark Hallam** D 0 0 0 0 Hallamshire Hornets
Simon Hehir D 32 17 58 75 Durham Destroyers
Karl Niamatali F 7 2 3 5 Blackpool Raiders
Tim McKay* F 0 0 0 0 Kingston Panthers
Alex Pearman F 6 5 2 7 Hallamshire Hornets
Andrew Sillitoe D 32 24 32 56 Tunbridge Wells Inline
Mark Thomas D 19 17 23 40 Sheffield Steelers (Ice)
Joe Wightman F 13 7 4 11 Nott Rollersnakes
Remi Moses D 6 2 3 5 Manchester Warriors
James Tanner GK 20 0 0 0 London Street Warriors
Benn Schofield* GK 0 0 0 0 Projoy Warriors

*Denotes debutant

**Played in 2002 (no statistics available as before tournament’s current format)

Nick Crawley

Phoenix Under-18 coach Nick Crawley is also the Head Coach of the GB team

Benn Schofield

Phoenix back-up goalie Benn Schofield has been selected to play for the British inline hockey team.
(Image: Richard Murray)

GB Men's inline team

The GB Men's Inline team prepares

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