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Thornton Back In The GB Fold

Monday, September 1st, 2008 – Belfast Giants player coach Steve Thornton has ended his self imposed exile of GB’s ice hockey team and has asked the National teams head coach Paul Thompson to “Pick Me”

Thornton hasn’t played for the National team since the World Championships in Croatia 4 years ago but had a change of heart after visiting Thompson’s coaching clinic in Solihull this summer “I attended Paul clinic to learn more about coaching from him and the others who were giving presentations, then by chance we sat next to each other at lunch and started talking about the National team, he never asked me to come back but as he was talking I just felt a desire to be back and part of what he was trying to achieve

“Paul is trying to build a winning and a professional programme, I want to be a part of that, with the Olympic qualifiers coming up this was the right time to make my self available. Paul and I have spoken and he seems keen to want me involved and I’m grateful for that. We have some great British players right now, the programme is certainly moving forward and I really feel that I can play a part in what is ahead, we go to Poland in November and I know we can make it through this first phase of Olympic qualifiers”

Thompson admitted that Thornton’s change of heart can as a surprise “when I received the call I was surprised but in a really nice way. Lets make one thing clear having Steve Thornton in our line makes us a better team. Steve seems really focused on being a part of the programme, maybe he needed time away to re-charge but I for one am delighted he wants to come back and help us win”

Team GB will travel to Poland over the weekend of the 7th, 8th and 9th of November for the first phase of the 2010 Olympic qualification process playing against Poland, Japan and Romania “We have made significant progress over the past two years” says Thompson “having Steve join an already good and ever improving team gives us a real chance of progressing”