MELKSHAM-BASED slider Laura Deas says she cannot yet get carried away by the prospect of a dream first Winter Olympics appearance as the biggest season of her career gets get to ramp up a gear.

With the 2018 Games in PyeongChang now just five months away, Deas and the rest of British Skeleton squad are preparing to begin training out on tracks again after plenty of early hard graft at their University of Bath base.

Although Welshwoman Deas admits one eye is naturally on competing in South Korea next February, the 29-year-old is well aware that there are plenty of obstacles in the way before then, with the 2017-18 World Cup series starting in November.

“It is a big year. It’s what we have been working towards for four years now so it’s very exciting times,” said Deas, who was 10th in February’s World Championship.

“We finished last season in March and then we had a small break and we have been back training for this season since May.

“It has been very long but we are excited to be getting out on the ice in the next couple of weeks.

“The Olympics is obviously the over-arching goal and that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning and is what everybody is working towards.

“At the same time, you don’t want to get too caught up in it because there is a lot that is going to happen in the next five months between now and then and a lot of things that need to go right to actually get me there in the first place.

“You can’t be complacent and just be thinking about the Olympics, you have got to take care of everything between now and then and we have eight tough World Cup races first.”

Deas has already had one taste of what to expect at next year’s Games, with the final race of the 2016-17 World Cup series taking place at the Olympic track in PyeongChang back in March.

She finished ninth at that event to earn an overall series ranking of sixth and Deas was pleased to get an early understanding of the track dynamics under her belt.

“It was really interesting because it is a track that is new to everybody so everybody was trying to figure it out and work out not just the safe line and how to avoid the wall but also how do I go fast,” said Deas.

“It was quite a unique situation as at World Cup level when you turn up at a track, everybody already has a plan for what they are going to do.

“It was quite challenging being in an environment where people were figuring things out for the first time, ourselves included.”