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Scotland's Heather Howie and Lee Morton look ahead to World League semi finals

17 May 2017

Heather Howie Lee Morton

Scotland hockey stars Heather Howie and Lee Morton are raring to go as Scotland's international teams prepare to compete at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals for the first time ever next month.

Scotland men will play in London at the Olympic 2012 legacy venue Lee Valley, while Scotland women are off to Brussels where they will open against world number 1 ranked The Netherlands - the same side who lost to GB women in the dramatic Olympic final in Rio.

Scotland's Heather Howie can't wait for her side to face the world's best women’s team. She said, “I am extremely excited for the next few weeks of training leading up to the World League semis and for the opportunity to have a chance of playing against the best team in the world.

“World League 2 in Valencia was such a fantastic and enjoyable experience and having the chance to do it all again, against some of the best teams in the world, is a tremendous opportunity.”

It’s been a successful few years for Scotland women, who are ranked amongst the top teams in Europe. There are three GB players in their ranks; Sarah Robertson, Amy Costello and Nikki Cochrane. Howie, a rising star who plays for Clydesdale Western, is also hoping for big performances when the Scots play China in their second match before taking on Italy and Korea for places in the later stages of the tournament.

Scotland’s men’s squad defied all the odds to reach the World League Semi-Finals, eventually qualifying as the best ranked third-place finisher at World League 2 with a 4-0 win over Wales. Their first outing will be against India on June 15, before taking on The Netherlands, Pakistan and Canada.

The Scots are now up against some of the top nations in hockey, but Lee Morton is confident Scotland's fighting spirit will see them compete with some of the best players on the planet. He said, “Getting to the World League Semi-Finals is such an amazing achievement and now we’re up against some of the best players in hockey, and against teams who have been training full-time for months. But we never give up, we’ll leave everything on the pitch in London.

“The support we’ve had on the run up to this tournament has been amazing and we’ll do our best for everyone – it’s going to be a challenge, and we can’t wait to play.”

As one of Scotland’s most promising young players, Morton will be hoping to carry on his great domestic form into selection for the tournament – he’s just won a domestic treble with Paisley side Bromac Kelburne.

Scotland’s men may be the underdogs in London but with the likes of Alan Forsyth - fresh from winning the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2017 with GB where he scored four goals and was voted Man of the Match in the final, the Scots have enough firepower to upset any odds.

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