Brooks gets first GB call up ahead of world championships

Brendan Brooks, Fife Flyers (Pic: Steve Gunn).
Brendan Brooks, Fife Flyers (Pic: Steve Gunn).

Fife Flyers’ forward Brendan Brooks is in line to make his GB debut at next month’s world championships.

Brooks gained his British citizenship in November, and has been included in a 28-strong pool ahead of the competition.

Fife Flyers' Brendan Brooks is presented with a '1000' jersey from his father, Larry, after making his 1,000th appearance in professional ice hockey  (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Fife Flyers' Brendan Brooks is presented with a '1000' jersey from his father, Larry, after making his 1,000th appearance in professional ice hockey (Pic: Steve Gunn)

The vastly experienced Candian-born forward will join GB’s training camp to prepare for two warm-up games against Poland in Nottingham on April1 14/15.

The squad will then be cut to 23 players to travel to Belfast for the championships which run from the 23rd to the 29th.

GB will take on Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Japan in Division 1B action.

Brooks is Fife’s sole representative in the squad which is drawn heavily from the EIHL – and the first player from the club to receive senior honours for many years.

Brendan Brooks,  Fife Flyers (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Brendan Brooks, Fife Flyers (Pic: Steve Gunn)

The 38-year old’s career has taken him across north America, where he played on a two-way contract with several NHL teams, Scandinavia and Europe, before arriving in the UK at the start of the 2015-16 season when he iced for Braehead Clan.

This season saw him move from west to east to join Fife where he has been one of their stand-out players and on-ice leaders.

The call-up has delighted him.

Brooks said: “My initial reaction was a big smile. I couldn’t wait to contact my mom and grandparents about it. It is a very emotional thing for them to see me represent their home country.”

The forward admitted he thought his international days may be over.

“I was informed with a call from Andy Buxton and then a call from Pete Russell,” he said. ‘‘I wasn’t sure if playing international hockey was going to happen again.”

“I was asked to play for Canada at the Deutschland Cup in 2011 but got injured and couldn’t be a part of it.

‘‘I had a call to play one more year at the Spengler cup, but my team I was playing for at the time had games during the same time as the tournament and wouldn’t have been able to go.

‘‘I was starting to think it might never happen again.

“My plan is definitely to be a part of the 23 man roster. I think it would be a huge honour to be on the squad and represent GB. I wouldn’t be going if I wasn’t serious about being on the team and help go for the gold.’’

Pete Russell, GB head coach, said: “We are delighted with our final 28 players.

“This was the toughest group to select but the coaches feel we have picked the right balance and the right group. There was so much competition across the board.

“From the Norway games we felt some guys really put themselves into the picture and that was a positive outcome.

“We have a good balance of offence and defence. I think it’s the strongest team we have selected in the two years we have been involved as coaches.

“We have been challenged to win a gold medal by the association and to do it on home soil.

“It’s going to be a wonderful experience and we need everyone behind the whole group. Let’s all pull together, be positive and believe this is our year.”

The squad also includes Stephen Murphy, who began his netminding career with Fife Flyers in 2000. He now plays with Belfast Giants.