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Scotland presented with World League challenge in Paris

[img_assist|nid=7927|title=Michael Bremner vs Ireland|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=160]Scotland Men return to competitive international action next week when they participate in the FIH World League Round 2 in St Germain, Paris from May 6-12.

The Scots face Belgium, Canada, France, Poland and Portugal in a challenging pool qualification format, where four of the five teams are ranked higher than Scotland in the current FIH World Rankings.

The national side will need to hit the ground running with their first two matches coming against Canada and Belgium, seeded second and first in the pool respectively. To further compound the scale of the task ahead, only one team will qualify from this pool for Round 3, with the highest ranked runners-up from the four Round 2 competitions joining Round 3.

Discussing the competition and his side’s chances, Scotland Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, ““Belgium are by far the best team there, they finished fifth at the Olympics recently, and are now challenging the top four [in the world]. They are the clear favourites [to win in Paris].

“France, Canada, Poland and Portugal are teams we are capable of beating. We have beaten Canada in the past on the day, it could go either way. They are a good team but hopefully we will challenge them.

“It will be difficult, but there is no reason why we can’t win those games. We’re looking to finish second and that is our target.”

Forsyth will look to the experience of players such as cap centurions Niall Stott, Iain Scholefield and Gareth Hall to lead the Scots on the pitch, while the likes of Gavin Byers and an in-form Alan Forsyth will bring a cutting edge to their attack.

Looking forward to the competition from a player’s perspective, Scotland and Great Britain U21 international Michael Bremner said, “It’s a really good opportunity to play against top international players and the teams we’re competing with are ranked higher than us. We will be able to test ourselves against these teams so we can progress and try to reach that level.”

The FIH World League will also bring a personal milestone for Glynhill Hotel Kelburne’s William Marshall, who will win his 100th international cap against hosts France in the penultimate match. Beeston’s Gordon McIntyre will also pick up his 50th international cap in the final game against Portugal.

Scotland Men: Jamie Cachia (Sheffield Hallam), Ian Moodie (Western Wildcats), Allan Dick (Holcolme), William Marshall, Gareth Hall, Alan Forsyth, Michael Bremner (all Glynhill Hotel Kelburne), Ross Stott, Gavin Byers (both Grove Menzieshill), Chris Grassick, Nick Parkes (both Surbiton), Dan Coultas (Cannock), Niall Stott (East Grinstead), Gordon McIntyre (Beeston), Iain Scholefield (Qui Vive), Wei Adams (Royal Penguins), Callum Duke (Edinburgh University), Derek Salmond (Inverleith).

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