TWO former Olympians will help spearhead Inverleith’s bid to topple Scottish hockey indoor kingpins Grove Menzieshill.
Graham Moodie, who was a key man for Britain in the Athens Games, and Stephen Dick, who played up-front for the national side in Beijing, are listed in a strong squad.
It also includes current Scottish international forward Ian Moodie, Graham’s younger brother, plus former Commonwealth Games players Adam Mackenzie and Derek Salmond along with Chris Duncan who made his senior international debut this year.
Gordon Amour (Scotland Under-21) is also included along with a number of Inverleith outdoor stalwarts.
It’s a formidable line-up which Graham Moodie, Scotland’s Under-21 coach who was a member of the Inverleith side which won the Scottish indoor title three seasons ago, believes has the right blend of experience and youth to do well.
Tayside-based Grove Menzieshill, the reigning indoor champions, and a club which has dominated indoors for the past two decades, are undoubtedly the club to beat, but Moodie predicted: “It will be an interesting season. The outdoor season has produced a number of surprise results and we could see the same this time indoors.”
There is also a change of rules and structure to the league. Previously, all clubs played each other twice. They will now play once and then the league will be split into two groups of four with the eventual winners representing Scotland in Europe.
Moodie, frustrated at being a runner-up to Grove for the past two seasons, said: “We have a really good squad. There are some fine individual players.
“The older guys like me welcome having younger players like Ian (his brother) and Gordon (Amour) who have great engines.”
He added: “Grove will, once again, be really competitive and, absolutely, the team to beat. They have a really strong squad and train hard for indoors.
“However, the play-off system means that some surprises can happen. Edinburgh side Grange, for example, were inconsistent last year but they have the capacity to beat any club on their day.
“Kelburne are the nine-times outdoor champions and they go into the winter closedown in the outdoor league with a nine-point gap on the rest.
“They have real quality and if they bring their best team to games then they could prove really difficult opposition.
“Another West of Scotland side, Hillhead, have been exceptional in outdoors this season and if they bring their best players to the games then they, too, could be a contenders.”
Moodie, who is player coach of Edinburgh University outdoors, said: “It’s really unpredictable but it could be a very competitive league which would be good. I also enjoy just playing and letting somebody else coach.”