Scotland’s Senior Men achieved their principal goal for the season by qualifying for the 2013 CEV Small Countries European Championships finals after a solid display in Luxembourg.
Early straight sets victories over Ireland and Northern Ireland set up the opportunity to achieve qualification for the second successive campaign by overcoming the Faroe Islands, and this was done with some ease, Scotland coming home 3-0 victors.
With several experienced players having retired or being unavailable on this occasion, coach Simon Loftus turned to the new generation of talent which has emerged largely as a result of the UK School Games programme and his faith in the youngsters was repaid with several stellar performances, with both Jamie McHardy and Stewart Caldwell attracting favourable comments from the opposition coaches.
However it wasn’t all about the kids, as Stuart Edgar and Gavin Watt, in particular, proved the equal of anything the opposition had to throw at them.
The only blemish on a perfect record was a 1-3 reversal at the hands of hosts Luxembourg. The team from the Grand Duchy have held the upper hand over the Scots for the past few years, although with both teams having qualified for the finals by the time of their meeting on this occasion, Scotland took the opportunity to run all 12 players for lengthy spells of the action.
This encompassed valuable court time for both Ally Green and Tom Young, both of whom made their first senior appearances on the trip.
With the finals place now secured, Scotland will be looking to build a quality match programme ahead of the finals next year in Cyprus.
Photos Courtesy of Christian Kemp
Senior Men’s NT Manager