Scotland's final mission
06 Feb 2006 11:51
SHU: Scotland’s senior women head to Durban this week for a four nation tournament which will be their last competitive encounter before the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March.
The competition features South Africa, Ireland and Azerbaijan, as well as the Scots, and forms a crucial part of the squad’s final preparations for the Games.
Missing the action will be midfielder Cheryl Valentine who won’t travel with the squad due to work commitments. Kat Cameron has been called up to replace the Dundonian vice captain.
Emma Rochlin’s return to fitness continues apace so she will make the trip to South Africa. The defender, who received her hundredth cap for Scotland during the recent Test match series in Ireland, will be out to prove that she can peak in time for Melbourne.
Scotland’s national coach Lesley Hobley has taken time to weigh up the opposition.
'This is a great opportunity to play some quality opposition ahead of the Games. The opening match against Ireland will be tough, we know that, while South Africa will provide us with a chance to measure ourselves against world class opposition.
“They are a strong, athletic team with an attacking style of play which will be a challenge for us, this is the team that finished second in the Champions Challenge last year and have already qualified for the World Cup.
“Azerbaijan play a very different style of hockey to what we are used to. I’m expecting them to play a very physical and technical game.'
Scotland go into the tournament having recently beaten Ireland in a two match Test series in Dublin, another key tournament in the build up phase. Hobley is in no doubt as to the value of playing in tournaments at this stage of the preparations for the Games
'At this point we need to be playing competitively and winning this tournament won’t harm our chance in Melbourne. As far as I’m concerned winning is a good habit to get into and would be a real confidence booster ahead of the Commonwealth Games.'
The Scottish squad, who are supported by the Scottish Institute of Sport, play their opening match against Ireland at 16:00 on Monday, 13 February.
Vikki Bunce, Louise Carroll, Linda Clement, Nikki Kidd, Debbie McLeod, Lou Munn, Jane Burley, Katriona Cameron, Julie Kilpatrick, Alison Rowatt, Rhona Simpson, Cath Rae, Holly Cram, Catriona Forrest, Samantha Judge, Emma Rochlin, Catriona Semple, Aimee Clark, Coach: Lesley Hobley, Manager: Ben Glencross, Assistant Coaches: Audrey Sime, Alan Lindsay
Monday 13 February: Scotland v Ireland, 16:00
Wednesday 15 February: Scotland v South Africa, 18:00
Thursday 16 February: Scotland v Azerbaijan, 16:00
Friday 18 February: 3 v 4 playoff, 14:00
Friday 18 February: Final, 16:00