Half an hour before the match between Great Britain and Denmark. Many waiting British fans are already at the Steel Arena in Kosice. Many gathered in the amphitheater section in the middle of the hall and there we met Annette Petrie, president of the British Supporters Club of Great Britain.
“We’re about 500 members of the existing group, but I estimate our supporters here at the World Cup are about 700,” says Petrie, who comes from Old Windsor, Berkshire.
Surrounded by Lianne King, Emma Armitage, Rachel Paget, Anne Fringham and John Oakley of Sheffield and Aylsa Cordner of Basingstoke. They are loyal hockey fans in a country where ice hockey is dominated by football, rugby and cricket.
– The better for the national team, the more interest in ice hockey, but the problem is that many fans think only of their club and do not show any support for the team. I think it is good that there is interest in the national team in the media, but the national team still does not get the attention it deserves, says Armitage.
Elsa Cordner, Annette Petrie, Emma Armitage and Lianne King believe that ice hockey is becoming a growing sport in the UK.
Ailsa Cordner is highlighting the growing interest in ice hockey among children and youth in the UK.
After we played in the 1994 World Cup, the British Ice Hockey Association started an annual junior tournament to find their own talent. In the beginning there were six teams. The tournament now consists of 20 teams in four categories ranging in age from 11 to 17. All but three of the players on that team participated in the tournament, Cordner says.
“I think our junior national teams on both the girls’ and boys’ teams are doing really well,” Petri says.
Great in Sheffield
Hockey has a relatively large geographic reach in the UK, but Petrie points out that London is the black spot for hockey.
– We’ll need a team in London. Hockey will give greater visibility and interest to sponsors.
In Sheffield, there is a lot of interest in ice hockey. There are many suitable teams in this field.
We have a fairly long tradition of ice hockey in Sheffield that unites generations. Paget says I am very happy that more children are choosing hockey as their sport.
Jake Oakley, Rachel Paget, Ann Fotheringham and John Oakley do not give up their favorites, despite the fact that the team sometimes loses.
The British League has long been known for being a league with a few of their British players joining the barking Canadians who have never made it past North America. A pub for thirsty gamers.
– Of course there are many imported players in the league, but it is impossible to have a league only with players who were born in the UK. I think we can create our own hockey league with just our players, but it takes 20-30 years, Petri says.
British fans enjoying the World Cup. It was in Budapest last year when Britain secured progress.
It’s fun to be “underdog”. Nothing awaits us. For us, it is also important to have fun and celebrate with supporters from other countries. We’ve only had good experiences with your pimples, King says.
– Baggett says Finnish fans like to drink beer, but they’re good with us.
World Cup difficult
John Oakley highlights the great atmosphere at the World Cup that he so appreciates. He doesn’t care that the British look like champion boys.
– We have faced many strong opponents and it is difficult for us, but the players have our support. They deserve it. You can’t just stare at results blindly, Oakley says.
Finland and the United Kingdom meet on Friday. Finland has never defeated Great Britain in the Ice Hockey World Cup in a double match. At the 1951 World Cup in Paris, the British defeated Finland 6-3 and at the 1962 World Cup in Colorado Springs 7-5.
I would like to see our winning streak over Finland continue, but I honestly don’t really believe in it. Petri says Finland looks very strong.
It is supported by Oakley.
– I’m realistic. Finland is much better. It’s your national sport, says Oakley.
Jake Oakley, Rachel Paget, Ann Fotheringham and John Oakley hope that one day the World Cup will be held in the UK.
Liam Kirk is the name of the big poster for British ice hockey. It was drafted last year by the Arizona Coyotes NHL.
There are 10,325 registered ice hockey players in the United Kingdom.
The British league, Elite Ice Hockey League, consists of 10 teams.
Great Britain won the 1936 World Cup gold in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The tournament was also an Olympic tournament.
The last time Great Britain played at the World Cup at the highest level was in 1994. Then the team lost all matches.
The most famous player in British ice hockey is Tony Hand, who for 33 years played at the highest level. Observed for more than 4000 points. Hand was drafted by Edmonton Oilers in 1986, but never played there. Along with Colin Shields and William Kirk, he is one of three British-born players drafted by the NHL club.
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