Hockey: Scots upbeat about theirEuro chances

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ADAM MACKENZIE knows what to expect when he pulls on a jersey for Scotland in the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship II, which starts in Italy on Friday.

He played in the event two years ago and, since then, standards have improved throughout Europe. However, the Inverleith defender remains upbeat about Scotland’s chances in Lignano.

The Scotland squad – under the name Highland Jaguars – warmed up for the trip by playing world-class players from Dutch combine HC RGD and the German side Grossflottbeker of Hamburg in the inaugural Richard Docherty Indoor Cup at Edinburgh Napier University last weekend.

Promotion to the elite of European indoor hockey is the objective this weekend and Mackenzie said: “We know that opposition teams will be really defensive and difficult to break down. We expect some to sit back either half or one-third court and wait for us. That’s difficult as we have to create the offence, but it is up to us to do that and take our chances.”

Scotland open their campaign tomorrow against Italy and follow up a few hours later with a joust against Ukraine. On Saturday, they play their final Pool A match against Sweden.