Scotland summer campaign kicks off with Celtic Cup defence

Scotland Senior Women will embark on a busy summer of
international hockey this weekend when they play Wales and Ireland
in the annual Celtic Cup tournament at Inverclyde,

Taking place from 3-5 June, the Scots will hope to get the
summer off to a positive start when they defend their Celtic Cup
title, although the importance of quality preparation time for the
squad and the level of performance are the key priorities for head
coach Gordon Shepherd this weekend.

“The Celtic Cup matches will provide the squad with an important
opportunity to come together for the first time since Delhi, so we
are really focussing on the time spent in training and increasing
the quality of our performances in preparation for the Champions
Challenge and Europeans this summer”, said Shepherd.

“Players included in recent Great Britain squad have also
returned for these matches, so it’s important that we use the
Celtic Cup to prepare for forthcoming tournaments, particularly as
this weekend will be our last competitive outing before travelling
to Ireland for the Champions Challenge.”

Shepherd has chosen a familiar and experienced line-up for
the competition, with sixteen of the squad who travelled to the
Commonwealth Games in Delhi included amongst the eighteen players
selected, and the Scots will be quietly confident of making it a
quintet of Celtic Cup titles following competition wins in the last
four years.

“We have an experienced squad now, with Laura Bartlett and Becky
Ward coming back into the fold as well, and this consistency will
bode well for the tests and challenges ahead of us. If we play to
our strengths and focus on our performances, then we will have a
good chance of retaining the trophy”.

“However, as I’ve outlined, the competition is really about our
preparations for the FIH Champions Challenge in Dublin and the
EuroHockey Nations Trophy in Poznan, and these tournaments provide
us with our real focus over the coming weeks.”

Reading and Great Britain forward Bartlett returns to the
international squad for the first time since the World Cup
Qualifier in Chile last season following a knee injury sustained
whilst in action for Great Britain, whilst Ward has had an
excellent season for VWS Dundee Wanderers.

The Scots will continue to be captained by stalwart Linda
Clement, who will continue to add to her remarkable haul of 158
caps this weekend. The matches will also be a milestone for Louise
Baxter, who collects her 99th and 100th caps for Scotland against
the Welsh and Irish, and Shepherd paid tribute to the Grove
Menzieshill midfielder,

“It is a fantastic achievement for any international player to
reach 100 caps for their country and our congratulations go to
Louise for reaching this landmark. She is an important player in
the squad and I’m sure she will continue to add to her cap total
for Scotland.”

All matches will be played at the sportscotland National
Centre, Inverclyde in Largs and season tickets for all three days
will be made available on the gate priced at £12 for Adults, whilst
day tickets are also available at £5. U16s and senior citizens will
be admitted free.

Scotland Women: Abi Walker (Canterbury Ladies),
Amy Gibson, Catriona Ralph, Morag McLellan, Sam Judge, Holly Cram
(all Milne Craig Clydesdale Western), Leigh Fawcett, Kat Cameron,
Louise Baxter, Nikki Kidd, Linda Clement (captain), Alison Bell,
Ailsa Wylie (all Grove Menzieshill), Emily Maguire, Laura Bartlett
(both Reading), Becky Ward, Vikki Bunce (both VWS Dundee
Wanderers), Kareena Marshall (Giffnock Ladies)

Match Schedule:

3rd June, 19.00, Scotland vs. Wales, Inverclyde
4th June, 14.00, Wales vs. Ireland, Inverclyde
5th June, 14.00, Scotland vs. Ireland, Inverclyde
6th June, 12.30, Scotland A vs. Ireland, Inverclyde


sportscotland National Centre Inverclyde
Burnside Road
KA30 8RW

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