Scotland Senior Women will welcome Spain to the Glasgow National Hockey Centre this week for the final international series on home soil before the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games begin next month.
Taking place from 26-29 June, the Scots will play three senior international matches against the Spaniards, while Scotland U21 Women will play them in a friendly match.
Looking forward to the challenge of facing the World Number 14, Scotland Senior Women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “Our preparations have solely focused on how we are going to play against Spain. They will be tough opposition and we are looking forward to the challenge.
“Our focus is on how we play, not how Spain will play and worrying about the opposition. We know that when we play our best hockey, then we can win the game.”
The national side go into the games this week off the back of a 1-0 series win over Ireland this weekend, including a 3-1 win and 1-1 draw.
While the results were positive, Shepherd and his coaching team know there is room for improvement, “During the second match on Sunday, we made it harder for ourselves and it was not the performance that I nor the players expect”, said Shepherd. “We almost got a win but we didn’t deserve that. I think Ireland would have felt hard done by.
“Every game is learning experience and we will learn quickly from our mistakes so that we can come into the games against Spain more prepared. We have lots of areas to improve on, I’m confident the players will achieve these improvements.”
With the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games hockey competition less than a month away now, the matches against Spain have been specifically scheduled to give the players the experience of the match times they will be required to play at during this summer’s showcase.
Following the matches against Spain, Scotland Senior Women will compete in the Investec Cup being hosted by England Hockey from 9-13 July. The women’s tournament will feature the hosts England, South Africa and Wales.
Scotland Senior Women: Nicola Cochrane (Edinburgh University), Vikki Bunce (Dundee Wanderers), Morag McLellan (Clydesdale Western), Alison Bell (Grove Menzieshill), Rebecca Ward (Dundee Wanderers), Catriona Ralph (Clydesdale Western), Sarah Robertson (Edinburgh University), Holly Cram (Clydesdale Western), Linda Clement (Grove Menzieshill), Ailsa Wyllie (Grove Menzieshill), Leigh Fawcett (Grove Menzieshill), Rebecca Merchant (Edinburgh University), Nikki Kidd (Canterbury), Susan McGilveray (Clydesdale Western), Nicola Lloyd (Canterbury), Alison Howie (Clydesdale Western), Nicola Skrastin (Clydesdale Western), Emily Maguire (Reading), Aileen Davis (Clifton), Amy Gibson (Old Loughtonians).
Source: Scottish Hockey
Photograph: Ali Bell in action v Spain at the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships 2013 (SHU (c))