Switzerland’s Jakob Kolliker is eyeing success at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing after being appointed the head coach of China’s women’s ice hockey team.
Kolliker, a two-time Olympian inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame in 2007, faces a major task to revitalise the team.
China's women have got as far as the Olympic semi-finals before, at Nagano 1998, and managed seventh-place finishes at Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010.
But, having failed to qualify for Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018, the pressure is on to regain some pride as Beijing 2022 hosts.
In May, the IIHF voted to guarantee China a spot at Beijing 2022.
"China has had very good Winter Olympic tournaments in the past," Kolliker was reported as saying by China Daily.
"The players have struggled a little bit for the past couple of years, but they have good potential.
"Every moment counts, and we also have a plan for the Olympics.
"If we work hard, China will have a good chance."
Chinese ice hockey side Kunlun Red Star have joined the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) as part of a bid to improve in the sport.
They were re-branded as Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays last season and finished fifth in the six-team CWHL.
"I think the biggest goal now is to have a league or some competitions here in China where we can play good games," Kolliker added.
"It's important for the future."
The IIHF has reportedly told China their teams need to improve if they are to justify their automatic host nation qualification for Beijing 2022.
According to the China Daily, concerns have been raised that the poor quality of China's teams will lower the standard of the event.
China's men's team are currently ranked 33rd in the world and have never previously qualified for the Olympic Games, with only 12 teams allowed to take part.
Only 10 spots are available in the women's event and China are currently ranked 20th.
The IIHF Women’s World Championship Division I Group B event is due to take place in Beijing from April 6 to 12, when China will go up against Kazakhstan, Latvia, The Netherlands, Poland and South Korea.
Poland are the only team ranked lower in the world than China, currently occupying 22nd place.