The 2018 Winter Olympics are too far off in the distance for most hockey players to contemplate.
Not for Team GB’s ladies however, who have yet to qualify to compete at an Olympic Games during their short history
As of Thursday 3rd November, their campaign begins at the preliminary round two stage, GB having travelled to Astana, with top seeded Kazakhstan (18) hosting this Olympic qualification group.
Rounding out the group are Poland (22) and Mexico (32), though the latter should not be discounted, having made it through the first round.
GB are currently ranked 21st in the Women’s game and are no forlorn hope to top the group and qualify for the next stage.
GB’s ladies finished third in the last World Championship group, despite owning the same record as Korea and Poland above them.
GB defeated Poland 2-1, coming back from a goal down, but lost to Korea by a solitary strike.
All games will be played at the Barys Arena, home to the local KHL team and a splendid facility which is just a year old and has a capacity of 12,000.
The schedule has been kind to GB, as they play first on the opening two days of the tournament, facing Mexico first and then Poland, after the third seeds have done battle with Kazakhstan on opening night.
(All times listed are UK)
Thursday, 3 November 2016
GBR v Mexico 9am
Poland v Kazakhstan 1pm
Friday, 4 November 2016
GBR v Poland 9am
Kazakhstan v Mexico 1pm
Sunday, 6 November 2016
Mexico v Poland 6am
Kazakhstan v GBR 10am