Saturday, December 9, 2023

Watsonian women set for ‘compelling’ grand slam bid

Watsonian women claimed a domestic Grand Slam last season winning titles outdoors and indoors and also enjoyed European success so now the challenge is to continue to improve, according to ambitious coach Keith Smith.

Three of his under-18 players, Kirsten Murison, Sophie Anderson and Ruby Crawford, have left to go to university and Heather Tait has retired.

Smith said: “We’ve promoted another under-18, Jess Garden, from our L2s and are speaking to two or three players who we hope will join, but nothing is confirmed as yet and will keep you posted on developments there.”

Scotland internationals Sarah Jamieson, an Edinburgh solicitor, and newly-qualified doctor, Ellie Wilson, who both played in the EuroHockey Championships, A Division, in Monchengladbach recently, when Scotland finished seventh, will both line-up, but work commitments could be a factor here. 

Smith is particularly pleased to have Wilson back as the influential defender missed almost all of the second-half of last season through injury and he said: “We didn’t actually have Ellie for the league and cup run-in or in Europe.”

Watsonian HC also won the EuroHockey Challenge to earn promotion, the icing on the cake of a momentous season for the Edinburgh club who also welcome back Emily Dark, another Scottish internatonal, who is a serious weapon at penalty corners, and experienced captain Bethan Mann. 

Smith added: “The aim for the season is to keep trying to improve but last season’s achievements won’t be easy to emulate and it is a pretty compelling challenge.

“We have two tough European competitions on top of domestic commitments and we know we’ll need to be even better this season.”  

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