he culmination of ten months work will be put to the test in fifteen days time when the Senior Women’s National Team takes to the court against the Faroe Islands for its first match in the CEV Small Countries Division Final 2015 in Schaan, Liechtenstein.
With the Faroes coming through their qualification pool undefeated this opening contest will certainly provide the players with a stern challenge as they aim to reach the podium for the second SCD Final in succession. Not only will day one prove tough but day two has the prospect of a double header against Cyprus and Luxembourg followed by a match against hosts, Liechtenstein, on the final day of the tournament.
There are no easy matches at this stage we will require to play at a consistently high level if we are to be successful. Day one is so critical in establishing momentum for the remainder of the tournament. Win, and you are on the front foot with confidence growing. Lose, and you are then looking at other results to go in your favour. It’s all about dealing with whatever is thrown up during those three days both on and off the court. For that very reason the players and staff have been working hard to identify the ‘what if’ scenarios that might arise and to seek solutions to addressing them if and when they do so.
This campaign has been very different from previous ones. In the past the challenge facing the Programme has been to become competitive at this level of international volleyball. In 2012 it was about being competitive enough to qualify. In 2015 it’s about being competitive enough to finish in the top two. The gap between these two positions is considerable and to have now reached the point where we have a genuine opportunity to achieve the latter is testament to the work that the players have put in and the progress that the Programme has made.
However, there is no complacency within the squad. There are no miscued beliefs. We will have to produce a quality performance in every match. We will have to be technically, tactically and psychologically astute. We will have to be physically strong and resilient. We will have to draw upon the hours of work spent on the court, in the gym and studying video footage to make sure we are ready to fire.
Twelve players will carry that responsibility into Liechtenstein but they only do so because of the combined efforts of the full squad. Selection time is always a difficult period for everyone but it is an unavoidable aspect of performance sport. The players recognise this and over the remaining practice sessions will continue to work as a squad to add the final polish before heading off to face the challenge for real.
The players and staff for the SCD Final 2015 are:
Mhairi Agnew (Su Ragazzi)
Katie Barbour (Troon Team Ayrshire)
Lynne Beattie (Su Ragazzi)
Linsey Bunten (Troon Team Ayrshire)
Mel Coutts (City of Edinburgh)
Alex Dickenson (Team Northumbria)
Carly McKinlay (Su Ragazzi)
Kirsty McLean (Su Ragazzi)
Laura McReady (Su Ragazzi)
Jo Morgan (City of Edinburgh)
Jen Thom (Captain, City of Edinburgh)
Catherine Smy (Aberdonia)
Craig Faill, Head Coach
Dave McEwan, Assistant Coach
Leigh Watson, Team Manager
Jillian Galloway, Physiotherapist
Will McConn, Sports Psychologist
The full playing schedule is:
|Friday 15 May||Scotland v Faroe Islands||17:30|
|Saturday 16 May||Scotland v Cyprus||11:30|
|Scotland v Luxembourg||17:30|
|Sunday 17 May||Scotland v Liechtenstein||13:00|
Scotland Senior Women’s Programme