Stewart's Melville College Modern Languages teacher, Mr Constable, has had the honour of captaining the Scotland O50s Masters Hockey Team this year. Working since last October to get the best group of players together and develop a style of play to try and be competitive at the Home Nations and European Championship, the squad brought their plan together this summer.
At the Home Nations in Swansea in May, the team came second losing only to England in the final match (4-3). This result indicated the team were on the right track and provided the incentive to work even harder in the run up to the Euros that took place earlier this month.
Drawn in a tough group with both Germany and Holland, as well as France and Wales, the Scottish team beat France in a tight opening game before drawing with Holland. Already this was a significant result for Scotland against such strong teams, but the group knew a victory had been tantalisingly close, leading at half time and only conceding the equalizer through a hotly disputed penalty just before full time.
Mr Constable recalled "...this meant we had to beat Germany in the final group match to make the semi-finals, but Germany had analysed us and had a strong game plan, ultimately winning the game 2-0."
"Although we had targeted the semi-finals and a medal we got ourselves together, hit the reset button and aimed for the best. We went on to win our first crossover match with Italy and then beat Wales in the 5/6th play off, ending the tournament fifth in Europe!"
"It was a little disappointing to have played so well and come away without a medal, but fifth was still a great achievement for a Scottish team. We are already planning our assault on the Home Nations next year in Scotland..."
We wish Mr Constable and the rest of the team the best of luck with their upcoming hockey season.
(Unbelievably, Mr Constable recognised a German player at the tournament from his time at a German University in 87-88 whom he had played with at the time, pictured together in the photo above!)