The Scottish Hockey Union today announced a 20-man squad to be captained by Mike Leonard for a five-Test series in Canada next month.
The squad, which is also supported by the Scottish Institute of Sport, will play six matches at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The series kicks off with a match against the Canadian U21 men with the other five games against the full Canadian senior men’s team.
The squad includes two young players in debutante, Kelburne’s Michael Christie (18) and Inverleith’s Stephen Dick (19). Their youth is balanced by an experienced squad which includes the three Olympians, Graham Dunlop, Niall Stott and Graham Moodie, back together for the first time since the Games in Athens last year.
Also making a welcome return to the team is keeper Kris Kane who has been unavailable for selection since the European Championships in Barcelona in 2003 due to exam commitments. Kane’s return means there is no place in the squad for understudy Alan Dick, but manager Eugene Connolly believes that competition for goalkeeping places in the squad can only be beneficial to the team.
Connolly’s aims for the trip to Vancouver are three-fold.
'Obviously our primary goal is to win a few matches, but in addition to that we are looking at this trip as an aid to the development of the squad in preparation for the Europeans in Leipzig and to integrate new players into the set up. If we achieve those three objectives I will be happy,” he said.
With Canada four places higher than Scotland in the Sahara WorldHockey Team Rankings, the matches will provide a great opportunity for the Scots to test their new line up against top quality opposition.
Scotland Men's Squad Match Schedule
Craig Harper (Aberdeen Asset Management), 5 Caps
Alistair McGregor (Aberdeen Asset Management), 19 Caps
Graham Dunlop (Greaves Clydesdale) 85 Caps
Niall Stott (Dundee Wanderers), 35 Caps
David Knipe(Grange), 12 Caps
Mike Leonard (Grange), 92 Caps
Stephen Dick (Inverleith), 5 Caps
Jonathan Christie (Pro-Life Kelburne), 34 Caps
Michael Christie (Pro-Life Kelburne), 0 Caps
Gareth Hall (Pro-Life Kelburne) 1 Cap
Chris Nelson (Pro-Life Kelburne) 5 Caps
Mark Ralph (Pro-Life Kelburne) 48 Caps
Kris Kane (Western Wildcats) 42 Caps
Vishal Marwaha (Western Wildcats) 100 Caps
Andrew Sewnauth (Western Wildcats) 31 Caps
Douglas Simpson (Western Wildcats) 3 Caps
Andy McBride (Annandale HC Ireland), 33 Caps
Graham Moodie (Cannock England), 38 Caps
David Ralph (Loughborough England), 88 Caps
Paddy Conlon (Pembroke Wanderers Ireland), 32 Caps
Coach: Mathias Ahrens (Scottish Institute of Sport)
Manager: Eugene Connolly
Assistant Coach: Craig Parnham (West of Scotland Institute of Sport)
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Neil Crosbie (Scottish Institute of Sport)
Physiotherapist: Juliet Wickham
Video: Tom Johnston
21 April: Scotland v Canada U21, 3pm
23 April: Scotland v Canada, 3pm
24 April: Scotland v Canada, 3pm
25 April: Scotland v Canada, 2pm
27 April: Scotland v Canada, 3pm
28 April: Scotland v Canada, tbc
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