July 6, 2017
Ice Hockey UK’s Great Britain Programme Board are pleased to announce Martin Grubb and Aaron Nell as the new assistant coaches of Great Britain Under-20s.
Grubb and Nell will work alongside Slava Koulikov who was confirmed as the new head coach of the U20s on Wednesday.
Kirkcaldy-born Grubb has been coach of Solway Sharks since 1998 and has been in the GB set-up since 2013. He steps up from his position of GB U18s head coach.
The 41-year-old is a multiple league and playoff winner with the Sharks, winning both trophies last season, as well as being named as NIHL North Coach of the Year.
Grubb won the bronze medal at the U18 World Championship Division 2 Group A in 2015.
“I am very proud to be a part of the GB U20 coaching staff and see it as a natural progression from the U18s,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to getting started. I am delighted to be working with Slava again and looking forward to working with Aaron.
“I am sure I will be able to use my experience and help the coaching team succeed.
“This year will be special as it will be in Dumfries and with the success I’ve had there with my club team, I want to be to be able to help transfer that to the national team.
“I would like to thank Tony Hand and the GB Programme Board for showing faith in me, I am excited about the future.”
Swindon-born Nell has been head coach of Swindon Wildcats since 2015 and will lead his hometown club in the newly-formed NIHL South next season.
The 27-year-old spent his playing career with Swindon and Coventry Blaze, while he also made five appearances for GB at the World Championship Division 1 Group A in Hungary in 2013.
Nell said: “It’s a huge honour being asked to be an assistant coach for the U20 national team.
“After talking with Tony Hand and his associates with the GB programme, I’m really excited with what they are looking to build and I can’t wait to be a part of it.
“I’m looking forward to working with Slava and Martin over the next six months.
“With the World Championship being in Dumfries, we have a great opportunity to have a successful tournament and make the country proud.”
IHUK national development head coach, Tony Hand, said: “These are two great appointments and we now have a very strong coaching staff for the Under-20s.
“Martin has extensive experience in the Great Britain junior set-up and Aaron is an excellent up-and-coming coach who will complement the coaching team well.
“The GB Progamme Board are convinced this is the right trio to take the Under-20s forward.”
Words: Ice Hockey UK press release. Pictures: Ryan Ainscow/Karl Denham