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Swindlehurst a big boost for GB: Russell


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Paul Swindlehurst

Paul Swindlehurst

©William Cherry / Presseye

Paul Swindlehurst

Great Britain head coach Pete Russell believes his team have been made stronger after adding Belfast Giants defenceman Paul Swindlehurst to the squad for next month's IIHF World Championships in Riga, Latvia.

The 27-year-old completes the 28-man GB roster for the tournament, which gets under way on May 22, and becomes the fifth Giants player to be included, joining team-mates Mark Garside, Lewis Hook, Ben Lake and Ciaran Long on the plane to Latvia.

The defenceman was due to play a large role for the Coventry Blaze during the recent EIHL Series but was ruled out of the regular season with an upper body injury. He returned for the play-offs, only for the Blaze to be knocked out in the semi-finals by the Nottingham Panthers.

Russell had initially named a 27-man roster for the World Championships, setting aside one place which was believed to be for Swindlehurst, and that has proved to be the case after the blue-liner proved his fitness with the Blaze.

"It is great news that Paul will be taking his place on the roster. He is now an experienced GB player and our defence will certainly be stronger with him in our squad," said Russell.

Swindlehurst has been a permanent fixture in the GB squad since his debut against Lithuania in 2014 and has one goal and four points in 30 caps for his country.

Great Britain open their Group A campaign against Russia on May 22 and will face Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Sweden and the Czech Republic before concluding their group campaign against Switzerland on June 1.

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