After a 2 week break the Schelde National League provided the fixture for this weeks “Meet me at the Net”. It was another trip to the North and a journey up the A90 to Aberdeen where Granite City were my hosts for the day and the feature match was Bon Accord v Troon Prestwick and Ayr in the Men’s 1st Division.
Granite City Volleyball Club was formed 2 years ago with the amalgamation of Bon Accord and Beacon Volleyball Club. They have two teams in the National League with Bon Accord in the Men’s 1st and Beacon in the Men’s 2nd Division.
Within the club they have several key people driving volleyball forward in the area with close connections to the North Grampian District League. My host for the day was Kenny Gilchrist who does an excellent job for the club as Administrator. Kenny provided an outline of the current club structure. The club operate training nights specifically for each team. These training nights are open to all club members and are well supported by the players from the other team. They have also established strong links within the local further education sector and schools and have recruited a number of players through this. Bon Accord stalwart Stevie Milne, who has been around Scottish volleyball for many years (sorry Stevie!!) has also recently been appointed as Assistant Coach to the Senior Men’s National Team and will bring his wealth of playing experience to the post.
Given the geography of the club, they have also developed a healthy bank of officials and hope to strengthen this in the near future by offering local training opportunities to those not yet on the refereeing ladder. Another very important ambition the club has is to re-establish a ladies team in the North East and this will strengthen the club and assist greatly with achieving SVA Flagship Club status. It will also provide a focal point for women’s volleyball in the North of the country. The club have also been active supporters of the SVA Beach Tour and Pawel Kiszka assisted with the organisation and staging of the leg of the tour in Aberdeen in May 2009.
The feature match involved Bon Accord v Troon Prestwick and Ayr. Bon Accord have had some excellent results so far this season and went into the game as strong favourites against the newcomers to the top league. What may have looked like a one-sided match on paper, turned out to be a very evenly matched hard fought tussle. Bon Accord have a number of National Team Squad members in their ranks who started the match strongly with Andrew Stronach serving strongly and Derek Bain consistently providing an excellent pass.
Troon responded well and never allowed Bon Accord to get out of their sights. A young player from the Troon team who had travelled with the Scotland West team in September to the UK School Games, Steven Cruse, had an excellent game through zone 4 and is certainly one to watch for the future. In front of a healthy crowd of local spectators (who were not afraid to voice their opinion!!) Bon Accord ran out winners by 3 set to 0 but Troon deserve great credit for their performance and fight. A special mention to Vince Krawczyk who had a long day…driving up after coaching the women’s team in Edinburgh to the men’s game in Aberdeen.
Andrew Stronach from Bon Accord was Man of the Match for an excellent overall performance and winning the key points for his side.
“Meet me at the Net” is trying to keep up with the times and I had a camera man at my disposal for the day…Jaroslav Tomik from the Bon Accord Team. You can see some of the action and also a post match interview with Stevie Milne…move over Sky!!
Volleyball has a strong history in the North East of Scotland and there continues to be numerous people in the area who are committed to a healthy future. My thanks to Granite City Volleyball Club and especially to Kenny Gilchrist, Stevie Milne and my trusty camera man Jaroslav Tomik.