Sunday, December 3, 2023

Scottish hockey: Grange start afresh after seventh heaven

Defending men’s Premiership champions Grange play their first warm-up hockey match at Fettes on Tuesday against The University of Edinburgh and coach Stevie Grubb has a real challenge as seven players, including international stars, have left following their seventh title win last April, writes Nigel Duncan.

The coach confirmed that six enthusiastic newcomers had been recruited and the challenge is to turn them into a team which can challenge for silverware.

Out go established international Duncan Riddell plus Jacob Tweedie, Albert Rowling, Rory McCann, Chris Cook, Matthew Taylor and Fraser Heigh, a Great Britain under-age international who left mid-season to join an Australian club, who helped guide the squad to an unbeaten record in the league.

In come Robbie Croll, who has played a major part in the recent successes for The University of Edinburgh, Jamie Green, Jack Nairn, Archie Stephen, Calum Wood and Cale Walsh.

Grubb said: “Yes, a lot of experience has left, but we have some really exciting new talent joining.”

He added: “I am excited to have the majority of the team available for this (warm-up) game, although a few are nursing minor injuries, as it will be my first opportunity to see the wealth of new young talent complimenting our old guard this season in a real game.

“We wish our experienced players well after moving on to pastures new, but our challenge is to incorporate the new young talent that is bursting with enthusiasm and energy into our style of play.

“We also must make sure we adapt and grow as a squad to exploit the talents and skills that they bring.”

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