Giants players included in Great Britain Olympic training camp

INCLUDED: Belfast Giants' Mark Garside
INCLUDED: Belfast Giants' Mark Garside

Five members of the Belfast Giants have been included in a preliminary 32-man Great Britain squad for next month’s final Olympic qualifying event in Latvia.

Mark Garside, Colin Shields, Stephen Murphy, David Phillips and Craig Peacock have been named by British coach Tony Hand.

All five will take part in a two-day training camp in Manchester from January 21-22 before the squad is trimmed to 22 members.

Britain will be up against hosts Latvia as well as France and Kazakhstan in Riga.

“The camp will give us a great start in our preparations for Riga,” said Hand.

“It will not only give us chance to work on tactics, but will also be a great bonding exercise for the squad.

“By naming a 32-man squad, it gives me chance to look at a number of players who weren’t in the final squad last time. This is also a great exercise for team morale.”

The British team - currently 21st in the world ratings - travel to Riga as the lowest-ranked side in a group with 11th-placed Latvia, as well as France (14th) and Kazakhstan (17th).

Only the group winners will qualify for the 12-team competition in Sochi.