TWO Bradford Bulldogs’ youngsters have been selected to play for Great Britain Under-16s men at the Riga Hockey Cup in April.

Under-16s captain Daragh Spawforth and Under-16s assistant captain Danny Harrison both made it through to final 22-strong squad which will head out to the Latvian capital to compete in the 14-team tournament which starts on Friday, April 19 and ends on Sunday, April 21.

For Daragh, it marks a second GB call-up in the past few weeks having made it on to the GB three-on-three team that competed at the recent 2024 Winter Youth Olympics in Gangwon, South Korea, in January.

The Great Britain team were knocked out in the preliminary round, missing out on reaching the semi-finals having finished sixth in the eight-team group.

An incredible Latvia team won all seven of their group games, including 24-1 against Britain, and went on to thrash Denmark 10-3 in the final to claim the gold medal.

Daragh and his GB team-mates won two of their seven group games, beating Spain 8-5 and Chinese Taipei 10-3.

Danny was named as the reserve for the British team on that occasion but joins his long-time Bradford team-mate in the full squad this time around.

Bulldogs head coach Andy Brown said it was another proud moment for the club, coming on the back of a number of recent international call-ups for the junior section.

Jess Wooding and Lydia Lutwyche both made the Under-18 GB Women’s team that won silver in the World Championships last month, while Under-16 and Under-14 netminder Jacob Mardell will head to Turku, Finland, with England Under-14s in April.

“It’s another excellent achievement for both boys and thoroughly deserved,” said Brown. “It’s a just reward for the effort and dedication that they put in to training every single week.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Andy Brown (centre) is thrilled to see Danny Harrison (left) and Daragh Spawforth (right) head off on their next big adventure with the Great Britain youth programme.Andy Brown (centre) is thrilled to see Danny Harrison (left) and Daragh Spawforth (right) head off on their next big adventure with the Great Britain youth programme. (Image: UGC.)

“Myself and everyone at the club are proud of them and wish them and the rest of the GB Under-16s the best of luck when they fly out to Riga in April.”

It is the third year that the national programme have sent a team to the prestigious tournament, with GB head coach Jamie Elson confident they are taking another strong squad for the 2024 renewal.

“I’m looking forward to getting to work with the squad over the course of the tournament,” he said.

“Over the course of the year the group has worked hard at the training camps and we like what we’ve seen, both on and off ice.

“We have some really good talent here and hard-working athletes, but we’ve also seen some great character and attitude among this group and that’s exciting.

“Last year’s group had an exceptional tournament and we want to pick up where we left off with this year’s squad.”