Great Britain set for Olympic qualifiers

Last Updated: 08/11/12 12:02pm

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Great Britain are aiming to keep their 2014 Winter Olympics hopes alive in the pre-qualifers in Japan this weekend.

Tony Hand's team face Korea on Friday before taking on Romania and then hosts Japan in the four-team competition in Nikko. The group winners will go through to the final Olympic qualification in Germany in February next year.

Hand believes his much-improving side have a real chance: "I think we can do well at this tournament. I think we have a strong team.

"Everyone is in a positive frame of mind and the mood in the camp is excellent. They can't wait to get onto the ice for action.

"I know people like to look ahead but I have got this weekend to worry about first.

"It would be great for us, as a nation, to have that chance to qualify for the Olympics by going to Germany next year. My main focus, though, is on the tournament in Japan."

Guildford Flames forward David Longstaff will win his 100th cap in the second match against Romania, having begun his international career in 1994.

The 38-year-old, who is the oldest player in the squad, said: "It will be a special moment for me. I am very proud to have represented GB throughout my career and to be closing in on 100 is pretty amazing.

"This road to the Olympics is one of the most special. A win in Japan would put us one step away from the Winter Olympics in Sochi. We are confident we can do well and everyone is excited at the prospect at reaching the next stage and being within touching distance of the Olympics."

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