As has become the norm for this time of year, a group of young Scottish female players gave up their New Year weekend to gain invaluable playing and team bonding experience outside of Scotland.
On this occasion, for the second year running the group made its way to Tameside in Manchester where it was to be tested by the fantastic local club of the same name who have in their ranks some of the very best juniors in England..
Both days started with 4 a side scrimmage matches with a dozen young players from Tameside playing against the younger players in the Scotland group, while the older players had a training session. For the last 4 hours of each day 2 mixed Scotland teams played against a senior and a junior team from Tameside.
The standard of volleyball in these games was amazing and there is now a maturity in the play of some our young players which is hard to believe and fantastic to see. It is epitomized in the smart hitting and tough serving of Jane Drauz Brown and Chloe Rutherford and in the passing and defence of Raveen Gill and the dedication of Isla Scott amongst many others.
Therefore, there is now a brilliant core of young Scottish players training with the Scotland squad, dedicating themselves to volleyball, many of whom attended this trip. Bearing in mind more than a dozen other players of similar quality were unable to make the journey to Manchester, it is clear that the junior women’s game in Scotland is truly beginning to flourish and is now having an influence also on performance levels even at the top of the senior women’s game.
A further trip to England is being considered for Easter, the possible entry of two teams in the Scottish Open and a summer camp too. There is also for many of the group the possibility of being part of the UKSG’s in September all culminating in qualifiers for the under 19 European Championships in December 2015. The new free Regional training days are about to start in January 2015 and all young players who wish to develop their game should look for the details on the SVA website and book themselves in to attend their local sessions.
We are extremely grateful to the Tameside club and in particular Richard Jump, Liz Clarke and Ian Goswell who with their players were superb hosts, to the parents and guardians who continue to support their children emotionally and financially, to a growing and talented group of club coaches who are improving and motivating their players and of course to the players whose behaviour, application and performance were outstanding. The new players took on the challenge impeccably and the more experienced players were great role models for the newcomers. Finally, I need to thank my fellow coach Tom Rooney and our team manager Aileen Hall for their continued contribution to the
young senior players. We would be unable to provide such great opportunities for the players without their dedication.
Head Coach to the Scotland Young Senior Women.
Players who attended Manchester
Raveen Gill, Kate Taylor, Chloe Rutherford, Jenny Lee, Anna Crawford, Sarah Kelly, Louise Agius, Natalya Blaszczak, Rachel Ferguson, Shona Fraser, Amy Rankin, Isla Scott, Emma Waldie, Kirsty McIver, Jodie Garrett, Ailsa Davies, Jane Drauz Brown, Julianne Hendry, Joanne McGuffie, Rachel Morrison, Nicole Ramage, Lisa Thomson, Rosie Watkins.