SWINDON WILDCATS: Lyle ready to put his GB career on ice

Swindon Wildcats netminder Stevie Lyle

Swindon Wildcats netminder Stevie Lyle

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

SWINDON Wildcats ace netminder Stevie Lyle has given his strongest hint yet that he is likely to turn down the chance to play for Great Britain again.

The Welshman was named in Doug Christiansen’s squad for next month’s World Championships in Lithuania last month and suggested that he may reject the chance.

And now the ex-Cardiff Devils star says that he has achieved everything he wants to do with the national side.

“It is better to give the younger guys their chance,” Lyle told the Advertiser.

“Apart from going to the Olympics, which I don’t think will happen for a GB side for quite some time, I have achieved what I wanted to with GB.

“I still haven’t made my mind-up though. The world championships are not until April and I’m concentrating on Wildcats.

“I’ve had a few emails about passports and itineraries and what is happening when, it is always nice when you get the call and they know what I can, I just don’t want to be going out there for holiday at this stage of my career.”

The 34-year-old, who has been capped 60 times by GB, is instead focused of cement Cats place in the EPL play-offs.

The Link Centre side are facing a tough test of their credentials this weekend as they head for league-leaders Basingstoke Bison tomorrow followed by a trip to the Coventry Skydome to tackle fourth placed Milton Keynes Lightning on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a tough weekend,” admitted Lyle. “Basingstoke are chasing the league but we have had tight games against them this year.

“On the other hand, we don’t have the best record against Milton Keynes and it would be nice if we could pick up at least two points this weekend.”

Wildcats have lost their last three games on the road and with six of their eight games away from their Link Centre base, Lyle knows the importance of changing that form if they are to succeed in the play-offs.

“If you are going to win in the play-offs then it is not going to be on your own ice,” the netminder said. “We need to start winning away from home.”

Basingstoke and Milton Keynes clashed on Wednesday night with Bison running out 4-1 winners.

“Unless they really beat each up then I don’t think it will have much bearing on this weekend.

“Hopefully I can be on top of my game because the team feeds off that and we have the forwards to stick the puck away - on our day, we can match anyone in this league.”

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