Norton is on a high with both club and country

Tom Norton assisted on three goals against Guildford Flames. Picture: Tom Scott

Tom Norton assisted on three goals against Guildford Flames. Picture: Tom Scott

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Phantoms defenceman Tom Norton has spoken of his pride at gaining a first taste of international hockey in his home city.

Norton was part of the Great Britain side beaten 2-1 by Norway at the Nottingham Ice Arena on Tuesday night.

It was the 26 year-old’s first call-up at senior level and he insists the experience gained from playing alongside and against top players will be invaluable.

Norton said: “It was terrific to be able to play for my country in Nottingham.

“It was also a nice surprise to be called up into the GB squad in the first place, and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity.

“I’ve always said that the speed in the Elite League is a step up from what we’re used to in the English Premier League, but this was on another level again.

“It would be great to be involved again in the future, but that is obviously not my decision.

“All I can do is continue to work hard and try to impress every time I hit the ice for Phantoms.”

Norton has certainly been doing that this season, underlining his status as one of the top British blue-liners in the second tier of the sport with a series of fine performances.

And he was delighted to help the city club to a first four-point weekend of the campaign as they saw off Guildford Flames last Saturday and Bracknell the following night.

Norton added: “The season has gone well for me on a personal level so far and the team is really coming together now.

“We are definitely moving in the right direction and it was good to make a big jump up the table last weekend.

“We’re starting to find the net on a more regular basis now and I’m really pleased for the forwards who all work so hard.

“They play a two-way game for the team and it is nice to see them rewarded with goals.”

Norton is now in his fourth season as a Phantoms player after initially joining for the 2012/13 campaign.

He played in the top flight with Nottingham Panthers the following year, but then returned to Planet Ice in the summer of 2014 and is now closing in on making 200 appearances for the club.