Bowns: I intend to fulfil my Stingrays contract
HULL Stingrays netminder Ben Bowns insists he has not yet given his long-term future much thought.
Bowns flies out to Japan on Tuesday having been selected for Great Britain's Olympic pre-qualifying tournament.
And having successfully stepped up from English Premier League Sheffield Steeldogs to the top flight with the Stingrays in the summer, Bowns is tipped for the bigger stage, including North America.
Bowns, though, says all his energies are focused on seeing out his two-year deal with Rapid Solicitors Stingrays.
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He said: "I've still got another year here in Hull before I think about North America.
"I'm enjoying it here. I've not really thought about past this year yet."
Asked if playing abroad had crossed his mind, Bowns said: "You want to play at the highest level you can, but the next two years are big ones for me. If I do badly then no one will want me.
"These two years are important. I am enjoying it, I've got no intention of leaving yet."
Bowns hopes to sign off in style tomorrow against Fife, to ensure Stingrays complete a quick-fire double over their Scottish visitors, whom they beat 5-4 at Hull Arena last Saturday.
And he feels having already won once so recently, Stingrays could have an important psychological edge.
He added: "You always hope to go out and win.
"Maybe we'll have a little bit of an edge, but obviously it's a different game."
However, Stingrays – and Bowns – will be hoping to start better than last Saturday when they found themselves trailing 3-1 at the first interval before hitting back later in the game.
Bowns admits he should have done better with at least two of Fife's first three goals.
He proved rock-solid in the last two periods, and revealed that owed a lot to team-mate Greg Blais.
"Fife came out flying and I let a couple of soft ones in," he said.
"I should have stopped the first and third and the second one was a bad rebound. I had something to do with all three of them.
"At the end of the first period Greg told me I was sitting too deep in my crease and not closing down my angles.
"When you make a mistake you can make all the excuses you want, but really you have to stand up and say 'I was at fault' but you can't let it get to you, otherwise your confidence drops."
Canadian-born keeper Blais will start next weekend's clashes against Coventry in Bowns' absence.
He could also deputise the following Tuesday – in Fife – if Bowns does not feel fit enough.
"We meet up on Monday and fly out on Tuesday," said Bowns.
"I get back midday on the 12th into Heathrow, but it's a 12-hour flight.
"I should be okay for the Fife game on the Tuesday, and I want to play, but I'll see how I feel and talk to Sylvain Cloutier.
"If I'm not 100 per cent, it's not good for the team."
Although Bowns could make his first start for the GB team, he says he is solely concentrating on tomorrow's encounter.
"It will be good, really good, to play for GB," he said.
"But I can't think about it too much. If you get excited and start over-thinking and get too pumped it can be bad. I'll consider it when it happens."