With the FIH Champions Challenge and Commonwealth Games fast approaching this summer, Scotland Senior Women will fly out to South Africa later this week for a ten day squad training camp (10-20 February), including seven international matches against their hosts at the Tswane University in Pretoria.
Scotland Senior Women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd names twenty-four players for the trip, including three new caps; Milne Craig Clydesdale Western’s Jennifer Eadie, Beeston’s Robyn Collins and Merlins Gordonians’ goalkeeper Siobhan Cowie.
Scottish quintet Ali Bell, Amy Gibson, Nikki Kidd, Emily Maguire and Morag McLellan are unavailable following their inclusion in the Great Britain squad travelling to the United States to face USA and New Zealand this month.
Looking forward the training camp and international matches, Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “The South Africa camp presents us with a great opportunity to have the players together for intensive training in warm weather and international matches against a high calibre of opposition.
“We’re able to take a large squad, which gives the coaching team an ideal opportunity to look at all the players against the South Africans. While results are important, the camp is really about starting to build for the Champions Challenge and Commonwealth Games, and setting the performance standards required for these important competitions.”
The Scots last faced South Africa in a four match series at Peffermill in Edinburgh before the EuroHockey Nations Championship last summer. The away side edged the series 2-1, which also included a thrilling 5-5 draw.
The South Africans come into the matches against Scotland having drawn a three match series 1-1 against Australia, and defeating Belgium 2-1 in a six-test series. Players to watch include veteran goal-scoring machine Pietie Coetzee and captain Marsha Marescia.
“We’ve played South Africa a number of times in the last two years so we know that the players will be tested against a top world nation. However, I have no doubt we will test them in equal measure and I’m looking forward to the matches.”
Scotland Senior Women: Jennifer Eadie (Clydesdale Western), Nicola Cochrane (Clydesdale Western), Vikki Bunce (Dundee Wanderers), Becky Ward (Dundee Wanderers), Amy Brodie (CALA Edinburgh), Catriona Ralph (Clydesdale Western), Samantha Judge (Edinburgh University), Sarah Robertson (Edinburgh University), Holly Cram (Clydesdale Western), Linda Clement (Grove Menzieshill), Ailsa Wyllie (Grove Menzieshill), Kareena Marshall (Western Wildcats), Leigh Fawcett (Grove Menzieshill), Rebecca Merchant (Edinburgh University), Susan McGilveray (Clydesdale Western), Nicola Lloyd (Canterbury), Maisie Morris (Edinburgh University), Alison Howie (Clydesdale Western), Nicola Skrastin (Clydesdale Western), Aileen Davis (Clifton), Kirsten McIntosh (Edinburgh University), Robyn Collins (Beeston), Heather Elder (Dundee Wanderers).
Source: SHU Media Release
Photograph: Susan McGilveray (SHU/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))