The National squad has been busy in the past few months, gruelling fitness programmes, shooting practise, training.. Add to this training camps in Holland, Manchester and finally Kent and you wonder where they find the time, energy and money.
A massive thanks to all those who donated to Nicol and Ella’s baked bean challenge. It raised enough money to cover the entire weekend of hall hire in Kent, and also to those who supported the race night which will cover the training costs in Portugal and hopefully some of the players travelling expenses too.
So, last weekend saw the final squad training before the Europeans, 4 matches in 2 days against some of the best teams in the English National League who very kindly agreed to support us in our build up to Portugal.
First up was Emma Stanley’s home club, Bearsted. With the Scotland side firing on all cylinders with players still fighting to prove themselves worthy of a starting sport, they ran out winners 11-5 with goals from Elliot (3), Dan, Ella, Tash (2), Jean, Angus (2) and Nicol showing that goals could come from anyone in the team. Next up were Kingfishers, who have been fighting for top 3 finishes in the Premier division in recent seasons. This match was much tougher, with an excellent duel between Morven and her opponent providing entertainment for the spectators. Scotland opened up a 5-2 lead by half time, only to see Kingfishers level at 7-7. Scotland went on to score 6 without reply to finish the game 13-7.
A well deserved rest in the local Travelodge plus takeaway pizza saw the squad up early to face KV and Tornadoes. KV fielded an impressive line up including ex- England and GB captain Rob Williams with ex –GB player James McDonald. KV opened the scoring with a series of well executed long shots, scoring 3 before Scotland had even got into gear. Half time 4-7 to KV. The second half showed how far Scotland has come in the last 12 months, as in the past going behind often leads to the weaknesses in the game becoming more apparent. However, a fight back occurred and the final score 10 -9 to Scotland
The final mathc was Tornadoes, a young side fielding several of the current England senior girls. Scotland put up a good fight but the 4th game at the end of a heavy weekend meant Tornadoes took the only victory for Kent but all the Scotland side put in solid performances in their final session before Portugal.
The squad travel out next week, and will train Thursday and Friday before a friendly against England on the night to finalise a starting line up.
We would like to thank everyone for their support over the past 12 months, a top 10 finish will see Scotland qualify for the World Championships for the first time ever and the players are totally focussed on making that dream a reality