Venus vows there's more to come
Despite being pleased with his significant development over recent years, Genting Casino Coventry Blaze forward Ross Venus says that there is still more still to come in his blossoming career.
“I have embraced a role and worked hard to become a player who can be relied upon defensively and in a penalty-killing role. By working with me in training and showing me lots of video, Chuck (Weber) really helped me to develop my game away from the puck over the past couple of years.”
Described by Director of Hockey Operations James Pease as a “player whose understanding of the game is far ahead of his age”, the 22 year-old says although happy with how his game has been shaped that he can still offer something more offensively as and when given the opportunity.
“I have tried to focus heavily on the defensive side of the game, but I feel I can be an offensive player too and that’s up to me to show moving forward. Having worked on being effective in a shut-down role though, I now know that even if I’m not scoring I can contribute heavily and play an important role in the team.”
With 350 Elite League games for Coventry already on his CV, Venus showed his scoring touch famously beating Josh Unice in the Sheffield Steelers' goal one-on-one for the game-winning-goal as Blaze won the Elite League Playoff Championship in 2015.
This past April, he also scored another big goal in his young career, his first for the senior Great Britain team during an 8-0 victory at the World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.
“That was kind of surreal,” reminisced Ross. “I didn’t even expect to be there to be honest so to score it didn’t really feel real, but it was a nice feeling. The week before in training I was playing on a line with (Jordan) Cownie and Lewis (Hook) so obviously I thought, given our lack of experience etc. that we’d probably not get picked. But, I think I played my way into the team. That Poland exhibition was one of the best I played all season. I was happy that I got to play in the game at the Skydome and playing on a line with Ash (Tait) and Russ (Cowley) helped. The familiarity I have with them meant I could relax a little more and focus on playing the way that I know I can.”
Venus and Team GB unfortunately missed out on promotion and a gold medal, going down to Ukraine 2-1 in the final game, a defeat which Ross says still hurts.
“I think about that game still a lot. It was so disappointing, but it was my first World Championships and overall it was a brilliant experience that I will never forget.”
GB will hope to go one better next time round as the World Championships come to Belfast next April, a tournament which Venus concludes he’d love to be part of.
“Although I am pretty happy with the way I have played so far for GB, I still feel like I am on the fringes a little bit. There’s so many good players, but I believe I am one of the best in my role and so of course I’d like to think I can be selected for the tournament in Belfast. With the crowd behind us and the added familiarity I think we have a good chance to get that gold medal, but first I have the season with Coventry to concentrate on and if I play well and have a good season, GB will look after itself.”
We look forward to seeing Ross back on the ice at the Skydome Arena on Wednesday 24th August as Blaze take on the Nottingham Panthers in the first game of a bumper pre-season campaign (full information).
- You can still Own and Loan Ross Venus' Away jersey for the new season (see here)
- His Warm-Up jersey is also still available to Own and Loan (see here).