City of Edinburgh volleyball in transition

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Scottish men’s volleyball champions City of Edinburgh open the defence of their title at home to Dundee tomorrow with a new-look team.

Player-coach Barry McGuigan, 34, has retired from the sport and, having started out at the club as a junior, leaves them at the top.

After 16 years in the game, McGuigan has decided it is the best time to quit although he has not ruled out playing beach volleyball next summer.

“I think I’ve done all I want to do as a player and I have had all I can take on a political level,” explained McGuigan who has also led a campaign against the high cost of hall-lets which he believes is strangling the sport.

“I have removed myself from the City of Edinburgh altogether, as a player and as a coach and will not be returning in the foreseeable future. The staff and the players continue to work very hard and I wish them all the very best for the seasons to come. I left things as strong as I could with second-team players coming up and signing Grant Gwynne from Ayrshire. Danny Traylor returns after four years in the US.

“City of Edinburgh will now go into a developmental phase as only three players remain from the championship-winning team. EB Teoh has taken over the coaching role on a part-time basis and I am sure the guys will be fighting for a play-off place this season.”

Edinburgh Jets, runners-up in the league and Scottish Cup last season, open their campaign at home to newly-promoted Beacon Fire. John Gaughan, last season’s Scottish Coach of the Year, will take charge of Jets II women’s team this season and Martyn Johnstone will step up as player-coach. Middle blocker Pawel Dylon has left and he will be replaced by up-and-coming talent Abdoulle Bah.

In the women’s first division tomorrow, Edinburgh Jets take on Su Ragazzi and champions City of Edinburgh face Jets II.