It’s a double-header for Team Scotland’s Hockey players as both the men and the women’s teams play their opening matches on the first day of competition at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
With Scotland’s women taking on New Zealand at 1130 (0230 UK time), and the men playing South Africa at 2130 (1230 UK time), both teams are set for some pretty strong competition.
As a core Commonwealth Games sport, Hockey has been competed in every Games since 1998, and Australia has dominated the medal rankings. The men’s team has taken gold at every Games to date, and the women have won gold on all but one occasion when they had to settle for bronze in 2002.
Both Scotland’s men and women are set to meet their Australian counterparts as part of the preliminary matches, with the men’s game taking place on Sunday 8 April, and the women meeting two days later on Tuesday 10 April.
Speaking about the upcoming first game against South Africa, Chris Grassick, captain of the men’s team, said: “We’ve all been having a brilliant time in Australia – it’s quite strange to think we’re actually here after talking about it for so long.
“We’re quietly confident about playing South Africa. They’re eight places above us in the rankings so there isn’t any real pressure on us – and we’re certainly playing the best hockey this group has ever played.
“If we can turn up on the day and play to our fullest potential then we’ve got a really good chance at winning that first game. The main thing for us is to remain as level-headed as possible and not to let ourselves be too affected by a win or a lose.
“In terms of the venue, the Gold Coast Hockey Centre is absolutely incredible – it’ll be amazing to play in front of a 5,000 strong crowd, and we’re really excited to get in there.”
Hockey will be competed across 10 days of the competition, with preliminaries being played 5 – 11 April, Classifications and Semi-finals on 12-13 April, and medal finals on 14 April.
Kareena Cuthbert, captain of the women’s team, said: “We’re all raring to go. Our team camp was perfect for setting us up for the competition ahead and now we just can’t wait to get started! We’re so lucky to have a pretty big travelling support network so we’re guaranteed a crowd behind us every step of the way.
“New Zealand are seeded highly in the tournament and are obviously pretty high in the world rankings, so our first match is set to be pretty fast-paced! However, we’ve done our homework and we know what we’re capable of and what we can bring to the game – so we’ll be going out there determined to give it everything we’ve got and play the best game we possibly can.”
Both Scotland’s men and women are also set to meet their Australian counterparts as part of the preliminary matches, with the men’s game taking place on Sunday 8 April, and the women meeting two days later on Tuesday 10 April.