Why Bowns will be ready for GB test
NETMINDER Bowns has vowed "to be ready" to help Great Britain's bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Bowns, 22, was back-up for last November's Olympic Pre-qualifying tournament in Japan, with Belfast's Stephen Murphy in his usual starting role as number one.
However, with the Giants' keeper currently injured, it could pave the way for the Rapid Solicitors Stingrays' goalie to step on to the international stage.
Alternatively, GB coach Tony Hand could call up Basingstoke's experienced keeper Stevie Lyle from the reserve list for next month's tournament in Latvia.
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"I don't know what's happening with Murph yet," said Bowns. "I went to the GB training camp last week with a view to playing for the number one spot.
"There were rumours about Stevie Lyle coming back into contention, but I think Murph will be okay for it.
"It'll be good for GB if he is fit as he has a lot of experience and he's a good goalie.
"It also depends on how match-fit he is.
"I have to go to Latvia expecting to see some game time, otherwise there's a danger of not being ready if I get called on.
"Whatever the scenario I will be ready for it."
Having produced a shock already to win in Japan, GB will be given a much stiffer test of their credentials in Latvia. Hand's side – ranked 21st in the world – will face the hosts (seeded 11th), 14th-seed France and Kazakhstan (17th).
The winners will progress through to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Bowns admits it will also be a tough test of his talents.
"It's not necessarily the skill level, it's more the speed as France and Latvia are Pool A nations and Kazakhstan are pretty good too," he said.
"All those nations are ranked above us, as most are every time we go to an international tournament or the World Championships.
"I played two years ago against Netherlands here, but it was a friendly and they are not in Latvia's class.
"I will be ready for it, I know what to expect.
"I've played Latvia at under-20s level, although they weren't as talented as their men's side will be."
Bowns celebrated his weekend call-up by being named man of the match in Stingrays' 5-2 victory over Fife on Saturday.
Two goals from player-coach Sylvain Cloutier and one each from Tom Squires, Jason Silverthorn and Dominic Osman teed up the win against a lack-lustre Flyers, whose goals came from Bobby Chaumont and Kris Hogg.
"It was a good all-round team performance, and hopefully if we play like that the results will come," said Bowns.