Edinburgh University women "excited" about EuroHockey adventure in Turkey

Three Scottish hockey clubs go into Europe this weekend, the two women’s teams in the same competition.

Edinburgh University and Clydesdale Western women are both in Turkey for the EuroHockey Challenge II, also the third tier, and they are in different pools.

The Capital side face Rotweiss Wettingen from Switzerland and Gaziantep Polisgucu SK of Turkey before playing NAVAX AHTC Wien from Austria.

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Clydesdale open again SV Arminen from Austria on Friday and then play Stade Francaise from France and TOSP Kilos Borispol of Ukraine. The Scots could meet in the final.

Edinburgh University coach Sam Judge and her team are on their way to Turkey this weekend

Sam Judge, the students' coach, said: "We are really excited about going about the tournament. It’s been three years since our last EuroHockey adventure.

"We don't really know much about the teams in our group however in 2017 we played Navax AHTC Wien and beat them, but I don't know what the Swiss or Turkish team will be like.

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"Looking at the other group, it looks strong with Clydesdale Western, the Ukrainians, the French and Arminen from Austria who we only narrowly beat on penalties in 2017."

Scottish international Louise Campbell and Ava Smith have not travelled and she added: “The girls have been doing acclimatisation training in preparation for the heat.

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“Obviously, the girls were disappointed not to win the Scottish Cup [they lost in the final to Watsonians], but we were really pleased with our performance, unfortunately at this level small margins can decide games."

Derek Forsyth, Clydesdale's coach, said their target was promotion. He explained: “We were relegated last year by the European Hockey Federation as we had to withdraw from the tournament due to Covid restrictions. I know little about the opposition."

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Newly-crowned men's champions Western, who also won the indoor title and the Scottish Cup, go into the unknown in Switzerland as it is 11 years since the Auchenhowie men competed in an outdoor European event.

They are in the EuroHockey Trophy II, the third tier of European hockey, and the event has been reduced from eight to six teams after the withdrawal of Polish and Italian sides.

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Coach Vishal Marwaha still expects a tough tournament and said: “It's important we start the tournament well as any slip up could be costly."