Edinburgh Capitals forward Sean Beattie hopes he has done enough to impress GB coach Pete Russell ahead of next year’s Division 1B World Championships in Belfast.
The 21-year-old, who missed out on GB honours at Under-18 and Under-20 level, made his Team GB debut in last week’s 4-2 friendly defeat by Norway in Cardiff and loved the experience.
He was a late addition to Russell’s squad for the two-game series with the Norwegians, and despite now owing his boss a favour for some last minute time off, it was an opportunity too good to refuse.
“It was a late call actually,” Beattie said: “I was half-way through work on Monday and I got a call from Scott (Edinburgh Capitals co-owner Scott Neil) asking if I could get the time off to play for Great Britain. I’m a plumbing and heating engineer, so it’s a busy time of year for us, and I’m just lucky I have a boss who gives me the chance to do what I love.
“It was too late to get me on the team flight so I flew down myself and ended up getting down to the team hotel on the Tuesday before the rest of the guys had even taken off.”
That night, Beattie watched from the stands as Great Britain, featuring most of their more experienced players, lost the first match in Nottingham 2-1.
Beattie, who had always been pencilled in to start the second match playing on a line with fellow top-prospects, Dundee born Jordan Cownie, and talented 18-year-old Sam Duggan who plays his hockey in Sweden, said: “On the Wednesday morning we had a light practice, then it was back to the hotel to relax before a team meal and over to Cardiff for the game.
“Getting a chance to play with players of a similar age was really great, we had a good training session and it really felt like we were on the same page. It was great to get to know and click with the guys like that.
“The game itself was an eye-opener. We played the same team that lined up against our boys on the Tuesday, they’re something like 11th in the world and I felt we did a good job of shutting them down. Norway were an excellent team, I can’t take that away from them.
“There was a really good atmosphere, and as the game sped up, guys started finding their groove and we really heard the crowd. A lot of Cardiff Devils fans turned up, but there was even a couple of Caps fans there which I really appreciated. For them to come down like that was unbelievable.”
Beattie, who has played with Edinburgh’s Elite League side since he was 17, admitted surprise at the chance to win his first cap so early in his career, and explained: “Until I got that phone call it was not really something that I had planned for. But the way the season went last year I got a lot of ice time and managed to improve my game a lot.
“The whole thing was just a fantastic experience. All the guys were great, it was a different style of hockey and something I really enjoyed. Coach Russell spoke to us all after the game and said he would be keeping in touch ahead of the World Championships next year. I’m hoping I did enough to impress him on my debut. It would be really exciting to get the opportunity to do it all again and I feel I’m ready for it too.”
Beattie and the rest of his Edinburgh team-mates continue their season with an Elite League clash with Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy tomorrow, before completing their final Challenge Cup group game, against Belfast Giants on Sunday at Murrayfield (face-off 6pm), with both teams having already qualified for the quarter-finals of the competition.