Hockey girls pass muster

Scottish Age Groups Hockey . Selkirk's Emily Newlands (left) and Morven Cawthorn.
Scottish Age Groups Hockey . Selkirk's Emily Newlands (left) and Morven Cawthorn.

There must be something in the water because next month there will be not one, but two hockey players from the high school representing Scotland in the youths’ Four Nations ­challenge.

Emily Newlands, 16, and Morven Cawthorn, 15, have been selected for the national Under-18 and Under-16 teams respectively.

And with prospective Commonwealth squad member Sarah Robertson already having played for her country at senior level, and hoping to continue this season, the future looks bright for the local youngsters.

Emily and Morven, having already played at either Under-16 or development level nationally, will experience their first taste of competitive international hockey in 2013 when they travel to Lillieshall, England, for the tournament, which takes place between March 28 and April 1.

Emily, who has already played for Scotland at Under-16 level, told The Wee Paper: “This is the one I really wanted as it’s the first of the season, so I’m really chuffed to have been chosen.”

And former Scotland development player Morven can’t wait. She said: “I was surprised when I found out I was going, but I’m really looking forward to it. We’re expecting some really hard games, but everyone is really positive about it and hopefully we can provide a few surprises ourselves.”

Both squads will play their counterparts from England, Germany and Netherlands in a round robin format to determine each team’s position in the pool standings. The teams will then progress to gold and bronze medal matches, where first plays second, and third plays fourth.

“Playing the top three teams in Europe will be really challenging, but I’m really looking forward to it,” added Emily.

“Realistically, our aim is to finish in third, the German and Dutch girls are miles ahead of us in terms of development as hockey is their national sport along with football, but we will give it our best shot and a win against England would be amazing.”

The Selkirk duo are two of five girls from Borders Hockey Development squad based in Tweedbank who are travelling to Lillieshall.

Claire Hill (Kelso HS/Watsonians) will join Emily in the Under-18 squad while Lucy Inglis (Earlston HS/Fjordhus Reivers) and Kirsty Millar (Berwickshire HS/Fjordhus Reivers) are in the Under-16 squad.

Borders coach Janet Jack said: “All the girls should be very proud of their selection as they are extremely hard working, conscientious young athletes who sacrifice a great deal to play and perform at this level.”