Team Scotland has today announced the men’s hockey squad who will compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The 18-strong squad is captained by GB international Alan Forsyth, who heads to his fourth Commonwealth Games, with the selection coming after a strong performance by Scotland in a highly competitive Four-Nations tournament featuring Ireland, Wales, and the USA.
In Birmingham the Blue Sticks will face Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan in an exciting Pool A.
For Forsyth, who grew up in Paisley, captaining his country is a special moment, “It’s an absolute privilege to be selected. If you had asked me when I was 16 or 17 when I got my first cap, I wouldn’t have thought I’d make it to four Commonwealth Games, so it’s an absolute honour to pull on the jersey again.
“When I think back to the 2010 Commonwealth Games – I think I was 17 – I remember playing India in Delhi and it was an unreal moment standing there for the Indian national anthem in front of 16,000 singing home fans. For me, as I get older, it’s really important to sing the anthem and take all these things in, and I’m looking forward to that in Birmingham.
“It’s an honour to captain my country, especially at such a big event, but we’re lucky to have plenty of leaders in the team. It’s great to be captain but we have a good leadership group and the young ones coming through are leaders in their own right. I’m really excited for this squad going to Birmingham.”
Also heading to Birmingham this summer is Grange goalkeeper David Forrester, who was selected for the Gold Coast Games in 2018 but had to withdraw from the squad after picking up an injury.
Reflecting on the years since Gold Coast, Forrester explained, “I’m so happy to be selected, it’s the second time for me. Four years ago, when I missed out, I set myself the target of being there in four years’ time, so being selected for the Games has always been the light at the end of the tunnel, and a lot of effort is coming to fruition for me right now.”
Western Wildcats trio – Callum Duke, Rob Harwood, and Andy McConnell all make the line-up with Duke and Harwood also both playing for Scotland in Gold Coast in 2018.
Glaswegian Duke, said, “I’m so excited for the tournament, it’s such a privilege to be part of the team. There’s such great competition across the squad so I’m delighted to be selected.
“It’s a huge thing for Western Wildcats to have three players selected, more so for Rob and Andrew who grew up at the club, but all the Scotland players at the club trained together all year with this summer as a goal in mind. We’ve been going down early for training and all those sessions have contributed to the three of us being there.”
Birmingham will be a second Games for Duncan Riddell from Edinburgh who is excited for what is almost a home Games experience, “I’m incredibly proud, it was such a good feeling when I heard the news. I was incredibly nervous before but now I just can’t wait to get going for what’s close to a home Games, which will be so different from the last one. My family were incredibly proud when they heard the news, there were tears on the phone, so it’s a big moment.
“The Games are just down the road so I think we’ll have a big following, I know all my friends and family have started buying tickets. I can’t wait to be part of it.”
The prospect of a Games close to home has also excited Ed Greaves, who added, “It’s not far for our families to come and support, which is the big thing. I was injured for the last Commonwealth Games and I was extremely gutted to miss out. It feels like the four years of working hard to get back fit and staying at the top of my game has all paid off.”
Glasgow-born Hamburg-based youngster, Struan Walker, is also heading to his first Commonwealth Games fellow debutants and brothers Cammy and Jamie Golden, from Dundee. Walker said, “I’m buzzing, and my family are all ecstatic, it’s going to be a great experience. I’m looking forward to coming up against some of the best teams in the world and just enjoy the experience of testing myself on a stage like the Commonwealth Games.”
In another family tie Murray Collins has been selected after his sister, Robyn Collins, was selected for the women’s squad in June.
Commenting on the selection, Team Scotland Chef de Mission Elinor Middlemiss said, “I am really pleased for and congratulate all of the men’s hockey squad on their selection for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Receiving a Scotland cap at any time is special but to play at a “home” Games is a proud moment for any athlete. I wish the Blue Sticks and their coaching team every success and I look forward to watching them on the pitch at the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre.”
The hockey competition runs from 29 July to 8 August at the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre.
Immediately after Birmingham Scotland play in the men’s EuroHockey qualifiers, on 24-27 August, where the Scots take on Wales, Switzerland and Gibraltar for a place in the EuroHockey Championships.
Scotland men’s squad for Birmingham 2022:
Tommy Alexander (Der Club An Der Alster)
Michael Bremner (UHC Hamburg)
Andy Bull (Old Georgians HC)
Murray Collins (Teddington Hockey Club)
Callum Duke (Western Wildcats)
Rob Field (Holcombe)
Dave Forrester (Grange HC)
Alan Forsyth (HGC)
Cammy Golden (UHC Hamburg)
Jamie Golden (Surbiton Hockey Club)
Ed Greaves (Teddington HC)
Rob Harwood (Western Wildcats)
Callum Mackenzie (Wimbledon HC)
Andy McConnell (Western Wildcats)
Lee Morton (Old Georgians)
Duncan Riddell (Grange HC)
Robbie Shepherdson (Teddington HC)
Struan Walker (Club An Der Alster)