Golf: Winter training in the sun is just reward for Blaney

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CAPITAL ace Anthony Blaney was scared to say anything about his escape to the sun – in case it fell through and he was left to spend the winter shivering on the golf range at home.

The 17-year-old Liberton star has been named along with Dunbar’s Danny Kay in the ten-strong squad heading to Abu Dhabi later this month for some warm weather winter training.

It’s a terrific opportunity for Blaney, who has done his bit to help put the Capital club on the golfing map over the past few seasons as he’s come through the SGU ranks.

“I got an e-mail a few weeks ago saying this could be happening but I was keeping it quiet until I received confirmation,” Blaney told the Evening News. “I’m delighted that has now happened and it means I can put the Under Armour and jumpers away for a while.”

Blaney and Kay, who reached the final of the Scottish Amateur in the summer, will head out to Abu Dhabi on November 18 and spend a month at the superb Yas Links Golf Club.

During that time, they will work with SGU national coach Ian Rae, under-18s coach Neil Marr and performance manager Steve Paulding.

Blaney, who helped Lothians win the Scottish Boys’ Team title for the last two years, has been handed one of four spots allocated to members of the Scottish Boys’ squad.

“It will be a great experience for me to be away with older players and see how I can learn from them as I try to improve my game,” he added.

“I was getting ready for some serious practice at both Liberton and Gullane over the winter, but now I have a break like this to look forward to and I am determined to make the most of it.”

Kay was a relative unknown outside his native East Lothian before he beat James Byrne and Kris Nicol en route to reaching the final of the Scottish Amateur at Western Gailes.

But, following a mass exodus to the paid ranks, he’s also been handed a dream chance to get his game in great shape heading into 2012.

Full squad: Scott Crichton (Aberdour), Danny Kay (Dunbar), Fraser McKenna (Balmore), Conor O’Neil (Pollok), Paul Shields (Kirkhill), Brian Soutar (Leven GS), Anthony Blaney (Liberton), Greig Marchbank (Dumfries & County), Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie) and Ewan Scott (St Andrews).