Weber waxes lyrical about Venus

Head Coach Chuck Weber could not have been happier for Ross Venus after the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze forward made his senior Great Britain debut.

The 21-year-old, who scored the game-winning goal in Blaze's play-off final victory over Sheffield Steelers last April, is now in his sixth season at the Skydome.

Having been part of previous GB squads without making the cut, Venus received a late call-up for this week's pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Italy.

He was handed his first cap as GB beat the Netherlands 6-5 in their opening group game and now take on Serbia and Italy with a place in the final qualifying stage at stake.

"What everyone forgets is that Ross is still only 21. He has been playing pro for 4-5 years now you would think he is 28!

"He has come a long way since the first time I met him with his understanding of the game and his play away from the puck.

"He has developed into a fantastic penalty killer and he has an under-appreciated skill set and can make plays offensively.

"This year he has looked at his role and embraced it as a penalty-killing shut-down forward who is not afraid to do the dirty work. Ross has made a lot of improvements to his game, he blocks shots and I love those guys.

"He has such a promising future and it is a credit to Ross how quickly he has got on the radar for the national team.

"A true hockey person understands the value of Ross Venus in what he brings to the team." - Blaze Head Coach, Chuck Weber