Scottish Hockey Union has named the 12 men who will fly the flag for Scotland at the European Nations Indoor Trophy in La Spezia, Italy, at the end of the month.

Scottish National Coach Mathias Ahrens has selected a core group from his Commonwealth Games squad to take on the European challenge in La Spezia.

Grange’s Mike Leonard will captain the team that contains three Olympians in Graham Dunlop, Niall Stott and Graham Moodie.

The squad is a real family affair with two sets of brothers and a pair of cousins making the trip to La Spezia.

All of the players selected were present at the training camp in Porto last weekend where the Scots overcame their Portuguese hosts three games to two.

With Portugal named in the same group the five-match series provided a good opportunity for Ahrens’ squad to judge the opposition.

Portugal finished in third place in the last edition of the tournament in Zagreb beating the Scots 2-0 in the 3/ 4 place play-off.

The first test for the Scots comes from the only unknown element for the team as they take on hosts Italy in their competition opener on Friday. The Italians are newly arrived in the trophy competition after securing promotion from the Challenge in 2003.

The final team in Scotland’s group is Croatia who finished seventh in 2003, narrowly avoiding relegation to the Challenge competition.

Ahrens is happy with his squad’s progress so far.

'We have a very good squad with a number of high profile players and have made excellent progress. I am confident that we can get the results we want in Italy to secure promotion for the Indoor World Cup next year,” he said.

“But more than that, this gives us a great opportunity to work on lots of the points that we want to use in the Commonwealth Games.'

The Scots’ first match is against Italy on Friday 27 January at 11:00.

Meanwhile Scotland’s senior women’s indoor squad takes its place on the European stage this weekend as they compete in the European Nations Championship in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Scotland Men’s Indoor Squad - European Indoor Nations Trophy
Alistair McGregor, Graham Moodie., Graham Dunlop, Mike Leonard, Jonathan Christie, Michael Christie, Allan Dick, Mark Ralph, Niall Stott, Stephen Dick, David Ralph, Vishal Marwaha, Coach: Mathias Ahrens, Assistant Coach: Craig Parnham, Manager: Eugene Connolly

Schedule
Friday 27 January: Scotland v Italy, 11:00 and 17:00
Saturday 28 January: Scotland v Portugal, 13:00
Further matches determined by placing within the Group

Groups
Pool A: Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary
Pool B: Portugal, Scotland, Croatia, Italy