Scotland’s senior women are ready to take on Europe’s best at the EuroHockey Indoor Championships in Almeria, Spain this weekend.
Going into the tournament, head coach Gordon Shepherd is feeling fairly confident: “We had good results against England over Christmas and went undefeated at the Burlington Cup earlier this month; although the standard will be much higher this weekend, these results give us a strong foundation.”
Scotland see two games on Friday, Ukraine and Italy, before facing the toughest team in their pool, Germany, on Saturday.
Germany has a history of dominating European indoor play; however, at the Samsung Indoor Hockey World Cup 2007 in Vienna, the Germans finished third behind first place takers the Netherlands and secondly, this weekend’s host, Spain.
Shepherd commented: “We’re not focused on the Germans; we know they’re one of the best teams here. It’s our first game against Ukraine on Friday that could make or break this tournament for us.”
“This squad has a good balance of youth and experience; we’re excited about that. Although this team isn’t as experienced as the squad we took to the Indoor World Cup last year, six players from the cup are here in Almeria. Several of these players are also on Scotland’s senior women’s outdoor squad,” continued Shepherd.
Players who helped Scotland to an eighth place finish at the 2007 Indoor Hockey World Cup include: Emma Rochlin (Glasgow Western), Carmin Dow (Giffnock), Vikki Bunce (Bonagrass Grove), Jaime Lyon (Bonagrass Grove), Julie Bryce (Kelburne) and Linsey Glass (Bonagrass Grove).
Rochlin, Dow and Bunce also hold spots on Scotland’s senior outdoor squad along with Cat Forrest (Glasgow Western), Kareena Marshall (Glasgow Western) and Nikki Kidd (Bonagrass Grove). All will be taking the court in Almeria.
When asked his ambition in Almeria, Shepherd said: “Maintaining our A division status is our main objective and achieving this would be a fantastic result for the squad.”
Spain, who may be betting on a home advantage, sit in Pool B along with current world champions the Netherlands, Belarus and Austria. President of the Spanish Hockey Federation D. Martí Colomer said: “Spain has many possibilities; although, it is complicated because Germany has a big team and Holland is very strong. But yes, it would be interesting if Spain was proclaimed champion of Europe and there is that possibility. Certainly, we’ll be at the podium.”
EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship (Women), Almeria (ESP), 25-27 January 2008
Pool A: Germany - Scotland - Ukraine - Italy
Pool B: Netherlands - Belarus - Austria - Spain
Friday 25 January 2008
10.30 A Germany v Italy
11.40 A Scotland v Ukraine
13.10 B Netherlands v Spain
14.20 B Belarus v Austria
15.30 A Germany v Ukraine
16.40 A Scotland v Italy
17.50 B Netherlands v Austria
19.00 B Belarus v Spain
Saturday 26 January 2008
10.00 A Ukraine v Italy
11.10 A Germany v Scotland
12.20 B Austria v Spain
13.30 B Netherlands v Belarus
16.00 C 4th Pool A v 3rd Pool B
17.10 C 3rd Pool A v 4th Pool B
18.20 SF 2nd Pool A v 1st Pool B
19.40 SF 1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B
Sunday 27 January 2008
10.00 C 4th Pool A v 4th Pool B
11.10 C 3rd Pool A v 3rd Pool B
Source: Scottish Hockey Union
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