Scottish hockey team eagerly awaits tie against IndiaSeptember 29th, 2010 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS
By Avishek Roy
New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) Gushing over the ‘world class facility’ of the hockey stadium and turf and ‘comfortable stay’ at the Commonwealth Games Village here, the Scotland team is looking forward to its first tie against India on the latter’s home turf.
“We saw the (Major Dhyan Chand National) stadium and the turf. The facility is really world class,” Niall Stott, a member of the Scots team for the Oct 3-14 Games, told IANS.
For the Scottish team, the reports in the media about lack of preparedness and security issues have turned out to be a false alarm.
“It has all been exaggerated,” said Stott.
The 29-year-old defender said they are having a comfortable stay at the Games Village.
“We are excited to be here. We have not faced any problems. We came here Sunday and the stay at the Village has been comfortable. I was there at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and there is not much difference. The food is excellent here,” he said.
They felt safe and secure, with four layers of security, keeping a hawk’s eye on the Village.
Stott said: “Hockey has been a very popular sport in the country (India). We never had a chance to compete against India at home and it will be an experience of a lifetime for us.”
“We heard that the stadium used to be full during the Hockey World Cup (in February-March this year) and we are looking forward to play in front of a packed and knowledgeable Indian crowd,” he said.
The Scottish team is drawn with India, World Champions Australia, Pakistan and Malaysia in the men’s tournament.
“Our group is difficult. India, Pakistan and Malaysia are very good teams, but we will give our best. We finished seventh in Melbourne, but we will be looking to finish higher this time,” said Stott, who is looking to cash in on his excellent recent form for England Hockey League Premier Division Champions East Grinstead.
Soaking in the colourful ambience of the Village, the Scottish players are looking forward for the event to unfold Oct 3.
Like most foreigners, who tour India for the first time, Taj Mahal is high on the priority list of places to visit for the Scottish team.
“We want to see the Taj Mahal. We just hope that we find time to make it,” said Gavin Byers, another player.
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