Scottish Hockey Hopefuls Ready for Junior European Nations Trophy

Scotland’s U21 Women are amongst the underdogs in Lille this weekend, where they take part in the Junior European Nations Championship, arguably the most important tournament in the world after the Junior World Cup. Participating in the Championship is an achievement in itself, the team having fought for promotion from the second–tier Junior European Trophy, staged in Prague two years ago, to secure their place.

Team manager Sheila Gray realises the difficulty of the test that the team have earned for themselves, stating, “Obviously it’s a huge challenge to be playing in the Championship, and our first aim is to stay in the championship by finishing in the top six teams. Anything else is a bonus.”

Two years ago the side beat a bevy of Eastern European sides to earn their promotion, defeating Poland, Ukraine, Russia and hosts the Czech Republic, only losing out on the gold medal by a single goal to fellow promoted side France.

Scotland will have to contend with Belarus, Spain, and current champions, Germany this time around but Gray doesn’t seem too worried by the prospect of being drawn in a group with the formidable Germans. “We’ve had a couple of training camps with Germany and we’ve actually competed very well with them. I think the key is not to be afraid of anyone. We have to go in and just play our own game.”

Two years can be a long time in the under-21 game, with only three of the seventeen-strong Scottish side returning from the team that gained promotion in Prague. CALA Edinburgh’s Amy Brodie, who scored against Ireland recently, and both goalkeepers, Bristol Firebrands’ Isobel Rosie and Glasgow Western’s Amy Gibson will return to European action for the under-21s. Rosie proved herself particularly adept at short-corner defence against Belgium last weekend while Gibson can be expected to give some of her consistently top-class performances.

Gray seems enthused by the prospect of testing out her young side. “I think we have a lot of young, exciting players who have the ability to play with the best, it all depends if they can find their best form.” The youth of her side, many of who are only nineteen, could also prove to be an advantage. It leaves several of the players with the motivation of being able to return and compete in the top rank Championship in two years time if they acquit themselves well.

Even for the older players who won’t have that chance, Gray doesn’t see a problem. “I don’t think it will affect them at all. They’re a mutually supportive team. They’ve trained and worked hard and are out to do the best they possibly can.”

Scotland U21 Women: Amy Gibson, Morag McLellan, Fiona Bruce, Nicola Lowrey, Alison Howie, Jilly Bell (Glasgow Western), Isobel Rosie (Bristol Firebrands), Kerry Hall, Daniele Johnston, Sophie McIntyre (Grove), Iona Stephen, Louise Fleming (Giffnock), Heather Stafford (Bradford Wakefield), Kristine Ayling (Kelburne), Amy Brodie (CALA Edinburgh), Rebecca Condie (Birmingham University), Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough University)

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For tournament fixtures, schedule and results, please visit http://www.eurohockey-lille2010.com/

Match Schedule:

Date

Time

Opposition

Venue

25th July

12.45 (CET)

Belarus

Lille HC

26th July

10.45 (CET)

Spain

Lille HC

28th July

10.30 (CET)

Germany

Lille HC

30th July

 

Cross overs / second pool

Lille HC

31st July

 

Cross overs / second pool

Lille HC

Squad Details:

No.

Surname

Forename

Club

Position

Caps

1

Gibson

Amy

Glasgow Western

GK

12

2

Rosie

Isobel

Bristol Firebrands

GK

7

3

McLellan

Morag

Glasgow Western

Midfield/Defender

7

5

Bruce

Fiona

Glasgow Western

Midfield/Forward

7

6

Hall

Kerry

Grove

Midfield

7

8

Stephen

Iona

Giffnock

Forward/Midfield

6

9

Lowrey

Nicola

Glasgow Western

Defender

7

10

Fleming

Louise

Giffnock

Defender/Midfield

7

11

Johnston

Daniele

Grove

Forward

7

12

Stafford

Heather

Bradford Wakefield

Defender

7

13

McIntyre

Sophie [C]

Grove

Defender/Midfield

7

15

Howie

Alison

Glasgow Western

Forward/Midfield

5

16

Ayling

Kristine

Kelburne

Defender

4

17

Brodie

Amy

CALA Edinburgh

Midfield/Forward

21

18

Condie

Rebecca

Birmingham University

Defender

7

19

Bell

Jilly

Glasgow Western

Midfield/Defender

7

20

Malcolm

Rachel

Loughborough University

Forward

6

 

For more information and manager/coach contact details, please contact:

Stuart Moffatt

Communications & PR Officer

Scottish Hockey

Tel: +44 131 453 9070

Email: stuart.moffatt@scottish-hockey-org.uk

Or media@scottish-hockey.org.uk

Contact: Stuart Moffatt
Phone: 0131 453 9070
Email: stuart.moffatt@scottish-hockey.org.uk
Website: http://www.scottish-hockey.org.uk