Fife player set to lead Scotland into EuroHockey A Division challenge in Germany

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Katie Robertson dreamed as a child about playing in EuroHockey's A Division against the best teams in Europe and this week that dream becomes a reality for the Fifer.

Scotland jet to Germany, and open their EuroHockey A Division campaign on Friday. Robertson originally from Lathrisk Farm, two-miles north-west of Freuchie but now living in Crieff, Perthshire, will lead the Tartan Hearts onto the pitch in Monchengladbach.

They will face a highly-partisan and vocal crowd of over 9,000 in the SparkassenPark as they push off against one of the heavyweights in not just European but world hockey. For the record, Germany are ranked number four in the world while Scotland are in 18th position.

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Scotland's head coach, Chris Duncan, has several members of the Great Britain squad at his disposal, but the majority of the Scottish team is made up of students, office workers, a newly qualified doctor, a lawyer and teachers.

Katie Robertson inn action (Pic: Nigel Duncan)Katie Robertson inn action (Pic: Nigel Duncan)
Katie Robertson inn action (Pic: Nigel Duncan)

It is a different scenario for Germany which has much greater resources, but Robertson is unfazed, and relishes the opportunity which has now arrived after over ten months of intensive training.

Scotland qualified for the championships after a three-game winning run in Dunkirk last summer, beating hosts France on the way, a country which hosted the Olympic Games next year and which is investing a great deal of cash into creating a team to compete with the best on the greatest sporting stage of them all.

Scotland also face Ireland, ranked No 13 in the world, on Friday, August 19 (20.15) and then England rated number six, on August 22 in their final Pool B qualifier.

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Robertson, a former junior equestrian champion, who quit riding after a fall from a horse competing in Wales when she was 13, said: "This event has come round really quickly. We've had games against teams we would not normally have played again. We've played Australia and China in the build-up and we have great depth in the squad.

"The Great Britain girls are now coming back in as well so everyone feels we are in a good position going into the European championships."

Scotland's game against the hosts is a sell-out and Robertson said: "We have lots of supporters coming out, friends and family, and it will be a great atmosphere, opening game, opening night, and we can't ask for much better.

"We are all really excited about it and this is what as I wee girl I dreamed about, playing in Germany in A Division (of European hockey) in the opening match of a major event, and we all respect the opportunity to play in A Division.

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"We have an ideal balance of youth and experience in the team. We have experienced internationals, the girls coming back from Great Britain training, and they played Germany recently in the ProLeague, and some of us have played against Ireland and England. We are going out there to perform and you never know what is going to happen."

“The girls are all really excited and everybody will have nerves, but it is up to us to channel that."