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Cardiff Devils' Josh Batch eyes GB senior selection
JOSH Batch will be starting his third season with the Cardiff Devils aiming to get in Great Britain’s senior ice hockey squad for the first time.
The 22-year-old, from Wickford, has previously represented his country at a number of junior age groups.
But he now wants to work his way into the top team.
“I played for England from under-13 to under-16 and Great Britain at under-20s level, so now my next target is to get in to the national team at senior level,” said Batch.
“It’s what I’ll be aiming towards in the next few years and hopefully it can happen if I keep working hard, stay injury free and play well for Cardiff.”
Batch, a former Westcliff High School pupil, has made 111 appearances in his first two seasons with Cardiff.
Last term, Devils finished fifth in the Elite League.
And Batch is confident that can be improved upon this time around.
“Last season we were hit by a number of injuries, including myself,” said Batch.
“I had to miss the last two months of the season with a knee problem I picked up but our top goalscorer was ruled out too.
“Imports are very important in this league and we had eight out of a possible 11 available and other people had to play with injuries.
“I think we can do much better this year and if we fail to end the season without a trophy then I think we would have to say it’s been a disappointing year.”
Batch first got into ice hockey by watching The Mighty Ducks films as a youngster and soon started to play in Chelmsford before eventually earning a place in the Chelmsford Chieftains team as a six-foot-tall 15-year-old.
A year later, he moved to America and played in the Colorado AAA midget minors as a member of the Rocky Mountain Wranglers.
By 2008 he has stepped up to play for the South California (So-Cal) Titans, a team which reached the national finals and won the league.
Batch then also went on to play for the Bay State Breakers before joining Cardiff in 2011.
And he is now firmly settled in the Welsh capital.
“It’s a great place to live and there’s always some kind of sport happening so I enjoy being here,” said Batch.
“I do miss my friends and family from home and I go back to Essex every summer.
“But I’m playing in the top division and I’m doing what I always wanted to do and that’s playing ice-hockey.”