The Goblet Restaurant never disappoints when it comes to putting on a meal and, after a superb roast carvery lunch, the squad board the bus for Kildare for the first match of the 2019 Sitekit Scotland U17 Shinty / Hurling Tour.
We stop off for an hour at the fabulous GAA Performance Centre in Abbotstown for a light knock-about. This will be the venue for the U21 and senior internationals between Scotland and Ireland later this year.
The squad is in good form. Some new friends have already been made and everyone looks very smart in their Gilmour Sports tracksuits, polo shirts and of course their Scotland strips.
You can sense the excitement as the young Scots arrive at St Conleth’s Park, home of County Kildare GAA.
We are welcomed at the ground by Kildare officials and the squad are impressed by the stadium itself and the impressive playing surface.
Bute’s Ryan Craig is given the honour of captaining the Scots and he’s a popular choice amongst the players.
The players are handed their playing kit. It is a first outing for the new Scotland strip, supplied by Gilmour Sports and the Scotland team is announced as follows:
Scotland U17 from: Calum Grover (Newtonmore); Jamie Gillies (Skye Camanachd), Daniel Sloss (Oban Camanachd); Alistair MacRae (Fort William), Ryan Boyle (Fort William), Ryan Craig (Bute); William MacKinnon (Skye Camanachd), Kieran MacPherson (Kingussie), Cameron MacIntosh (Glenurquhart); Lachie Shaw (Fort William), Lewis Clark (Fort William), Duncan Matheson (Kinlochshiel), Liam Borthwick (Kingussie); Ross Gordon (Skye Camanachd); subs Conor Kennedy (Kyles Athletic), Martin Pringle (Skye Camanachd), Cam Clark (Kilmallie)
There are a few familiar faces in the crowd as the players go out for their warm up and are given their final instructions. Concentration is key as is playing the ball into the wide areas. Most of all, the players are told to enjoy the occasion.
It’s then game on!