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Top Euro juniors head to Scotland

The cream of Europe’s U21 women’s hockey talent will descend on Stirling this week as Scotland hosts the 10th EuroHockey junior indoor championship from Friday.
The hosts will be in action with their squad taking to the court against Poland, Portugal and Czech Republic in pool B of the competition. Meanwhile, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic and Sweden are the teams making up pool A.

The cream of Europe’s U21 women’s hockey talent will descend on Stirling this week as Scotland hosts the 10th EuroHockey junior indoor championship from Friday.
The hosts will be in action with their squad taking to the court against Poland, Portugal and Czech Republic in pool B of the competition. Meanwhile, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic and Sweden are the teams making up pool A.
Scottish head coach Dave Stott has named twelve players in his squad, including recent Commonwealth Games internationalist Morag McLellan, and Milne Craig Clydesdale Western team-mates Alex Wilson, Nicola Lowrey, Fiona Bruce and Nicola Skrastin. Heather Stafford (Bradford Wakefield) and Isobel Rosie (Firebrands) return from club action south of the Border, while CALA Edinburgh pair Amy Brodie and Fiona Plain are also included by Stott.
Looking forward to the challenges ahead, Stott said: “Obviously, our immediate aim is to retain our status in the championship I division. Indoor hockey plays an important role in the development of our youth international players, so we want to keep our place at the elite level for the next indoor championship in 2013.”
“This will help to maintain the intensity of competition for our young players to experience and take forward in the development of their hockey careers. Our U18 players are now involved in a performance programme for indoor hockey and it will be to their benefit that they have a top level international competition to aim for in the next two years.”
Scotland will play Russia and Portugal in their first two pool matches on Friday, and Stott was keen to emphasise the importance of starting the tournament strongly against the Russians, “If we can get off to a good start against Russia, then it gives us confidence going into the next game against Portugal. These tournaments are very close, so it’s important to reach a high performance level from the off and maintain that consistency for the rest of the competition.”
Stott continued, “Our preparations haven’t been helped by the weather we had over the Christmas and New Year period, but the Grove Menzieshill tournament provided the girls with a good run out and allowed them to practice the system and tactics we want to use in the Europeans.”
Indeed, the Scotland U21 squad will also play a warm-up match against Belarus on Thursday morning and will get a full flavour for the challenge that lies ahead against the other European sides competing in Stirling.
“The eastern European teams will play a similar, physical style of hockey so I expect the likes of Belarus, Poland and Russia to provide the toughest challenges throughout the competition”, said Stott.
“However, we won’t underestimate the Swedes or the Portuguese either, and the Czech Republic will bring a decent team. After all, it’s the top tier of the continent’s junior indoor competition, so there are no easy games at this level.
Up to 250 spectators are expected for each day of the tournament at at the Peak leisure centre in Stirling Sports Village, but there will be a number of tickets made available on the door. Season tickets can be purchased for the three days of competition, as well as single tickets for each day. U16s and concessions are admitted for free.
For details of the venue click here.
Tickets via Ticketmaster.

Scotland U21 Women: I Rosie (Bristol Firebrands), S Cowie (Granite City Wanderers), A Brodie, F Plain (CALA Edinburgh), F Bruce, N Lowrey, M McLellan, N Skrastin, A Wilson (Milne Craig Western), H Elder (VWS Dundee Wanderers), K Hall (Grove Menzieshill), H Stafford (Bradford Wakefield).

Match Schedule: (Time/pool/fixture)

Friday 21 January 2011
10.30 A Belarus v Czech Republic
11.40 A Austria v Sweden
12.50 B Poland v Portugal
14.00 B Russia v Scotland
15.30 A Czech Republic v Sweden
16.40 A Austria v Belarus
17.50 B Poland v Russia
19.00 B Scotland v Portugal

Saturday 22 January 2011
09.00 A Belarus v Sweden
10.10 A Czech Republic v Austria
11.20 B Russia v Portugal
12.30 B Scotland v Poland

15.30 C 4th Pool A v 4th Pool B
16.40 C 3rd Pool A v 3rd Pool B
17.50 SF1 2nd Pool A v 1st Pool B
19.20 SF2 1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B

Sunday 23 January 2011
10.00 C 4th Pool A v 3rd Pool B
11.10 C 3rd Pool A v 4th Pool B
12.30 3/4 Loser SF1 v Loser SF2
14.00 Final Winner SF1 v Winner SF2

Note: The Match Schedule is subject to amendment at the discretion of EHF or the Tournament Director.

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