Capital clubs provide ten players for Scotland hockey squad

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Six players could earn their first senior international caps as Scotland women entertain Canada in four games.

The players in line for their debuts are Ellie Mackenzie (Loughborough University), Katie Swanson, Zara Kennedy (The University of Edinburgh), Watsonians pair, Amber Murray and Katherine Holdgate, plus England-based Rebecca Birch.

The first two matches against Canada are capped and they are on Saturday, May 25 (15:30) and Sunday, May 26 (14:30) with the other two games on Tuesday, May 28 (19:30) and Wednesday, May 29 (19:30).

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Scotland last played Canada, who are ranked one place above the Scots at No 16 in the world rankings, at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022. The North American combine won 3-1 and claimed fifth spot at the tournament.

Chris Duncan coaching the Scotland squad during a gameChris Duncan coaching the Scotland squad during a game
Chris Duncan coaching the Scotland squad during a game

Chris Duncan, head coach to Scotland’s women, said: “Canada are an excellent side who are playing in the Nations Cup so will be quality opposition.

“These games come at a great time in our programme after great tests against Spain and Wales and a really pleasing training phase.”

He added: “This group has six new caps, and we are thrilled for the individuals who will gain that honour of representing their country at senior level.

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“However, we are pleased with the development of the whole group and have an immense volume of trust in the team selected to deliver our philosophy and style in these contests.”

Several of Scotland’s leading women players are still involved with Great Britain and are unavailable, but Duncan said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for others to lead the team which will be important for development towards our long-term goals.”

Meanwhile, Scotland under-21 women host Ireland in three matches against Ireland at the same venue as the Irish side continue to prepare for the under-21 EuroHockey Championship II in Konya, Turkey, in July.

Squad: Amber Murray, Ellie Wilson, Emily Dark, Katherine Holdgate, Sarah Jamieson (Watsonians HC), Bronwyn Shields, Millie Steiger (Clydesdale Western), Ellie Mackenzie (Loughborough University), Eve Pearson (Grossflottbeker THGC, Germany), Frances Lonergan (Western Wildcats), Heather McEwan (Royal Victory, Belgium), Jessica Buchanan (Exeter University), Katherine Birch (Durham University), Katie Swanson, Lunjika Nyirenda, Ruth Blaikie, Sophie Hinds, Zara Kennedy (The University of Edinburgh), Rebecca Birch (Ben Rhydding HC, England)

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Friday, May 24: Scotland under-21 v Ireland under-21 (19.30)

Saturday, May 25: Scotland under-21 women v Ireland (13.00); Scotland v Canada (15.30)

Sunday, May 26: Scotland under-21 v Ireland under-21 (12.00); Scotland v Canada (14.30)

Tuesday, May 28: Scotland v Canada (19.30)

Wednesday, May 29: Scotland v Canada (19.30)