Capitals kid Caly Robertson relishing return to GB duty

Caly Robertson will line up for Great Britain Under-18s in Estonia next month
Caly Robertson will line up for Great Britain Under-18s in Estonia next month
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Young Edinburgh Capitals forward Caly Robertson can’t wait to be back in a Team GB shirt ahead of next month’s under-18 (Division 2A) junior world championships in Estonia.

Robertson cemented his call-up at an international training camp in Sheffield last week, and the 17-year-old has fond memories of playing the same competition last year in Pyeongchang, South Korea, scoring two goals in the arena where the Olympic ice hockey gold was won just last month.

Robertson said of the week-long tourney: “Last year was a great experience, my first time representing GB at a world championships – especially travelling to South Korea and getting a taste of the Olympic arena. I’m left with some amazing memories both on and off the ice. It’s a completely different culture there, and it was my first time playing in what felt like a really professional set-up.”

This year, Great Britain are set to face-off against hosts Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, Korea, and Australia in Tallinn as Robertson continued: “We’ve got a good chance of doing well.

“It’s really close. There are no teams on another level. We can all beat each other on the night. It’s just down to who works the hardest and takes their chances.

“About half the players were on the team last year and we’ve got some talented younger guys coming through. We’ve got a really good mix and there’s no reason we can’t win the gold medal.”

Robertson, who last summer along with his brother Aaron signed for the Edinburgh Capitals academy from Scottish National League side Kirkcaldy Kestrels, certainly seems to be making the most of his time in the city, combining ice hockey with studying for his HND in fitness, health and exercise at Edinburgh College.

Robertson currently sits third in scoring in Martin Cingel’s Capitals SNL team and has made over 30 appearances for Edinburgh’s Elite League outfit, whose fixtures away to Coventry Blaze tonight and at home against Dundee Stars tomorrow may yet fall foul of the freezing weather conditions.

“It’s up to ‘Raz (Capitals player-coach Michael D’Orazio) whether I’m in the Elite League team or not,” said Robertson. “It tends to be only if we’re short of three lines of regular players. The SNL were due to have an important game tonight against Aberdeen. We’re on a seven-game winning streak and they are one of the top teams in the league, but it’s been called off. Unfortunately, the SNL play-offs are when I’ll be out playing in Estonia so I’m going to have to miss the end of the season.”

With cash-strapped Capitals enduring such a poor season in the Elite League and ‘good news stories’ around the club currently hard to come by, it’s refreshing to hear a young talented player talk so positively about his time at Murrayfield.

Robertson said: “It’s been perfect. I’ve come here with the intention of practising with the Caps and to learn from training at that level every day.

“Getting ice time with the senior team was something I did not expect and that’s been good too.

“I got a fair bit of ice last year in Kirkcaldy, but it was only with the SNL and U20s but never with the big team (Fife Flyers). It’s the pace of the Elite League training that’s made a difference, I can see myself getting better.

“Next season, I’ll still be at college and I hope to keep playing and training with the Capitals.