The Blue Sticks are contesting their first ever Hockey World League semi-final, having defied their modest world ranking to reach the Lee Valley event.
The Scots – coached by Alan’s father Derek – play India, the Netherlands, Pakistan and Canada in Pool B at the #HWL2017. The Hockey World League semi-final in London features 10 teams and precedes the second semi-final in Johannesburg, which takes place from 9-23 July.
Seven teams go through to the finals in Bhubaneswar to join hosts India in December.
Crucially, 10 teams from the London and Johannesburg semi-finals will join hosts India and the five continental champions at the 2018 World Cup, which is also being staged in the east Indian city.
|Scotland’s Pool B fixtures at Lee Valley Hockey Centre|
|15 June, India v Scotland 14:00|
|17 June, Scotland v Netherlands 18:00|
|19 June, Scotland v Pakistan 12:00|
|20 June, Scotland v Canada 12:00|
Scotland began the tournament last September in World League 1, ranked 28th in the world.
Scotland will arrive at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in London with an entire team and coaching staff inexperienced at operating at this level. The Blue Sticks have made dramatic progress over the past two years and now sit at 23 in the FIH Hero World Rankings [having moved up four places recently] and face the challenge of a first-ever appearance at the Hockey World League Semi-Final stage. However, they are still the lowest-ranked nation in the tournament, some way short of their opponents.
Derek Forsyth is Scotland men’s Head Coach. He points out that, although the tournament is new to his players, his squad has been together a while. “The only new member to the squad is Tommy Alexander, who joined the programme in February. He previously represented Scotland at Under-21 level back in 2010 and therefore is familiar to the majority of the present squad.
“We have evolved and developed over time and I think we have a good mixture of experience, youth and enthusiasm and we are bound together by a common objective.
“We aren’t able to get together as frequently as we would like but, when we do, we have camps, an agenda and objective meetings. These are very interactive and everyone’s opinions are valued.”
In their opening game in London they play India, ranked sixth in the world, while the Netherlands are fourth, Pakistan 13th and Canada 11th.
Scotland squad for Hockey World League semi-final:
Wei Adams (Dusseldorf), Tommy Alexander (Reading), Russell Anderson (Cannock), Tim Atkins (Reading), Kenny Bain (HGC), Michael Bremner (Klipper), Gavin Byers (Grove Menzieshill), Callum Duke (Hillhead), David Forrester (Edinburgh University), Alan Forsyth (Surbiton), David Forsyth (Qui Vive), Chris Grassick (Surbiton), Ed Greaves (Loughborough University), Gordon McIntyre (Wimbledon), Willie Marshall (Surbiton), Lee Morton (Reading), Nick Parkes (Surbiton), Jamie Wong (Edinburgh University).