Russell on a mission to help Scottish goalies achieve Great Britain dreams

John Russell says he is delighted to have the opportunity to work in the Great Britain coaching set-up.

Russell is part of a trio of coaches working to identify the best up-and-coming young netminders in the country.

In conjunction with Gary Brine and Dave Clancy, he is tasked with assessing which goalies possess the right attributes to partake in the GB programme.

Russell’s focus will be on netminders in the Scottish Ice Hockey system, while Brine and Clancy will cover the rest of the UK.

“I’m very excited to start and help implement this new program aimed to identify goalies and get them developed in a way that creates higher standards in the position,” said Russell.

“I’ll be tasked by Gary to look after the identification of the top Scottish goalies throughout the junior age groups.

“I’m looking forward to getting to local rinks and helping more Scottish goalies make the GB grade.”

There are currently 16 goalies in the GB programme and a dozen more on an extensive watch list.

Brine says the system, which provides specialist advice and coaching, is designed to improve GB’s chances of unearthing top-class netminders.

“We work closely with Euan King to make sure we are developing goalies in order for us to have the next Ben Bowns,” said Brine.

“The programme is designed to give every young goalie a chance to be seen. If they are at a standard that enables them to compete at international level, we will find them.

“Being a good club goalie isn’t enough. We also want good characters, mental resolve, fitness, accountable social behaviour and good academics on show.”

(Image permission: Ian Coyle)