The Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams for Glasgow 2014 were announced today with exactly six weeks to go until their competitions begin.
Over 11 days of action, 20 teams will compete for two Gold medals and Scotland will be looking to use home support at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre at Glasgow Green, to build on their previous Games outings and be competitive against some of the top hockey nations in the world.
The men’s side will be led by Head Coach Derek Forsyth, who has held the post since the beginning of 2012, and was Assistant Coach in Delhi, 2010. On his team’s selection he said: “The squad we’ve selected for the Commonwealth Games includes a number of talented and experienced players who we think will give us the best chance of hitting the targets we’ve set ourselves for the hockey competition. The players are looking forward to the challenge of playing the likes of Australia, South Africa and India in front of a home crowd and delivering good performances as a team.”
The 16-man squad contains six players each with over 100 caps for their country including Chris Nelson, William Marshall, Gareth Hall and Iain Scholefield.
Two sets of brothers will compete in Glasgow – Niall and Ross Stott, alongside Alan and David Forsyth.
Alan Forsyth and Kenny Bain are seen as the real goal threat for Scotland. GB player Chris Grassick will captain the side and makes his Common
wealth Games debut, bringing a wealth of knowledge to the midfield alongside fellow GB player, and double-Olympian Niall Stott who has now amassed 150 caps for Scotland.
Scotland finished 9th in Delhi and will be looking to improve their position after credible showings recently against England, Argentina and Belgium at the Men’s 4 Nations in Glasgow and a series win over Wales.
For the women’s team, there are also a number of familiar and experienced faces in the line-up that were part of the team that finished 7th in Delhi four years ago and a side that is largely unchanged from that which competed in the FIH Champions Challenge in Glasgow just over a month ago, where they finished in 7th position.
Coached by Gordon Shepherd, the team is preparing for some tough opposition in Australia, England, Malaysia and local rivals Wales. Shepherd said: “Before the team selection, all of the players demonstrated desire and commitment to producing high quality output during the full-time programme, making it extremely competitive for places in all positions when it came down to selecting the group for the Commonwealth Games. I have now selected a group of players that I believe gives Team Scotland the best chance of reaching the target we’ve set for the hockey competition and it is a squad that has valuable experience of competing at the highest level of international hockey.
“I fully believe this squad can build on its recent successes, including retaining its place in the European Championships last summer, to deliver good performances in front of thousands of Scotland supporters in Glasgow.”
Linda Clement will captain the team as she steps out for her fourth Commonwealth Games and has led the team in over 100 international matches. Key players in the midfield will be Great Britain internationals Vikki Bunce, Morag McLellan, Emily Maguire and Nikki Kidd. Kidd’s is particularly key with her role in the short-corner set-pieces and was ranked third in the English Premier League scoring charts this season and listed in the league’s Team of the Season.
At the back, Amy Gibson will provide a solid presence in goal supported by her defence that includes Catriona Ralph, Susan McGilveray and Leigh Fawcett.
In the final weeks of preparation, Scotland’s women will play a test series against Ireland and Spain on home soil this month before the men and women both travel to England to compete in the Investec Cup in early July.
Chef de Mission, Jon Doig congratulated the 32 Team Scotland athletes today saying:“Hockey is always a popular sport at the Games and I am delighted to announce two very strong sides to represent Scotland in the men’s and women’s competitions. The new facility at Glasgow Green provides a wonderful venue for our athletes to compete and for the home crowd to get behind them. The experience both sides have gained since their appearances in Delhi four years ago bodes well for top class performances when competition begins in just a few weeks time.”
Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison said: “Congratulations to the athletes who have been selected for the Team Scotland hockey squads. Stepping out in front of a passionate Scottish crowd at the National Hockey Centre, a fantastic Games legacy for the next hockey generation, cheering you on at a home Games will an unforgettable experience. Thanks to the support and expertise of the coaching staff these players are ready to compete in what will be the greatest Games ever.”
Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, said: “Hockey is one of the most competitive sports at the Commonwealth Games and I delighted that such a talented group of athletes will represent Team Scotland at the Games. Each player selected for both the men’s and women’s teams has truly earned their place and deserve congratulations.
“One of the main reasons we are able to prepare world-class athletes across a range of individual and team sports is because of the high performance support services provided by sportscotland. In the case of women’s hockey, the team has been able to train full-time thanks to sportscotland funding through its athlete personal awards scheme (SAPAs).
“With world-class experts working with world-class athletes, we have every reason to be excited about Team Scotland’s prospects at what promises to be the best ever Games.”
SELECTED HOCKEY ATHLETES
Kenny Bain Forward
Michael Bremner Defender
James Chachia Goalkeeper
Daniel Coultas Defender
Alan Forsyth Forward
David Forsyth Defender
Chris Grassick Midfield (Captian)
Gareth Hall Forward
William Marshall Defender
Gordon McIntrye Midfield
Ian Moodie Forward
Christopher Nelson Midfield/ Forward
Nicholas Parkes Midfield
Iain Scholefield Defender
Niall Stott Midfield
Ross Stott Midfield
Gary Cameron Defender/ Midfield
Gavin Somerville Goalkeeper
Ali Bell Forward
Vikki Bunce Midfield/Forward
Linda Clement Forward
Aileen Davis Defender
Leigh Fawcett Defender
Amy Gibson Goalkeeper
Nikki Kidd Midfield
Nikki Lloyd Forward
Emily Maguire Midfield
Susan McGilveray Defender
Morag McLellan Midfield
Catriona Ralph Defender
Sarah Robertson Forward
Nicki Skrastin Midfield
Rebecca Ward Defender
Ailsa Wyllie Forward
Nicki Cochrane Goalkeeper
Holly Cram Forward
Alison Howie Defender
Rebecca Merchant Midfield
Photo credit: Alistair Devine