About Western Wildcats HC
Western Wildcats’ Rob Harwood says his side is “hungrier than ever” to land a first ever win in the EHL, hoping to use the lessons learned a year ago in Hamburg.
Last time around, they were undone by hosts Harvestehuder THC before pushing Club Egara deep in their ranking match; it was 1-1 with 10 minutes to go before the Spanish side nabbed two late goals. This time around, they meet a new opponent also in search of a maiden EHL win in TJ Plzen Litice.
Harwood is one of the key men in the side with 45 international caps and two Commonwealth Games appearances behind him and he will captain the club this season.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for us as a squad to test ourselves against the best Europe has to offer,” he said ahead of the event.
“We are hungrier than ever to come back and get a famous KO16 victory. We do not know much about TJ Plzen Litice but are expecting a very tough encounter.
“Western have gone through a large-scale rebuild over the last ten years or so but have come through that to have two very successful domestic seasons with back to back trebles. We hope to continue that domestic success whilst also making our mark on the European stage.”
Harwood spent the summer playing in Australia for YMCC in Perth having finished 4th in the league season.
Callum Duke has 102 caps for Scotland and has captained the country on occasion; he will be key in either defence of midfield.
They also have huge experience; Jonathan Christie- playing in his 12th EHL campaign, 10 for Kelburne and this his second for Western. The former Scotlamd international is 40 years old this year and still going strong.
Gavin Sommerville is similarly experienced; the outstanding goalkeeper has numerous EHL appearances for Kelburne and Western.
At the other end of the scale, AJ Lochrin, Fraser Moran and Andrew Mccallister are three young players who broke into the senior Scottish squad this year gaining their first appearances and are key driving forces for the team.
They are under new coach Steven Percy and will also have to adapt without the influence of Andy McConnell. He will be in Barcelona but with his new club, Harvestehuder THC, with whom he has impressed in the opening weeks of the new season.