Scotland’s senior women’s hockey team have qualified for the World League semi-final for the first time and will play in Belgium from 21 June to 2 July.
It has been a long wait for the team, who following their third place finish at World League 2 in Spain, have had to wait nearly two months for the final World League 2 in Canada, where their place was confirmed on Saturday night when India beat Belarus in the semi-final.
The team can now look forward to playing some of the best hockey nations in the world, in an exciting period, as they also prepare for the European Championships in August and the Commonwealth Games in April 2018.
The World League semi-finals are also a step closer to the World Cup which is being held in London in June 2018. A strong performance in the semi-finals would take Scotland back to the World Cup for the first time since 2002. The World Cup has a special significance for Scotland, as the trophy is a Quaich that was originally presented to the winners of the World Cup in Edinburgh in 1975.
The qualification for the World League semi-final, achieves Scotland’s qualification standard for Team Scotland for the Commonwealth Games, and retains Scotland’s World Ranking of 17th.
Scotland women’s Head Coach Gordon Shepherd commented “I am thrilled that we have qualified for the World League semi-finals for the first time. We are looking forward to playing the best nations in the world as we challenge for World Cup qualification. I am delighted for the whole squad, as they have all worked so hard to make this happen.
Scottish Hockey CEO David Sweetman added “It is a fantastic achievement to have both our women’s and men’s teams secure qualification to the World League semi-finals for the first time. The squads and support staff have shown massive drive and commitment to achieve this and they deserve the opportunities to compete against the best teams in the world. With the European tournament for the men in Glasgow in August, and hosting several test series for the women, we are delighted that fans will be able to watch the teams compete as part of an exciting summer for hockey in Scotland”