Ice Hockey - Tait hopeful over Britain's Olympic chances

Ashley Tait says Great Britain's ice hockey team can emerge from the final Olympic qualifier in Latvia.

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Ashley Tait and Great Britain's ice hockey team (Imago)

Tait, who plays at forward for the Sheffield Steelers, was part of the British team that travelled to Japan back in November for the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament.

Britain recovered from losing to South Korea in a shoot out to defeat Romania and hosts Japan to progress through to the final Olympic qualifier, which begins on February 7.

In Latvia Tait and co will come up against the hosts, who are ranked 11th in the world, France, who are 14th, and Kazakhstan, who are 17th, with Britain 21st themselves.

However, describing the current British team as one of the best in almost two decades, Tait believes they are more than capable of causing an upset in Riga and reaching Sochi 2014.

"I have been involved with the senior national side since 1995 and this is one of the best squads I have known," said Tait.

"We all get on so well and enjoy each other's company, and that is crucial to our success so far and in the future.

"We had a long trip to Japan for the pre-qualifiers, but went into their back yard and came back as group winners.

"Now we go to Latvia as underdogs, but anything is possible. We believe in each other and we have the talent and desire to do well.

"I have heard that more than 250 GB supporters will be out in Latvia with us. That is just fantastic and we will be spurred on by their backing.

"The boys are really excited about the next few days and are itching to get on the ice and start things rolling."

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