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Seven time winner Eve Muirhead is aiming to reclaim the title at this week’s Scottish Championships after missing out on the event last year while she was representing Team GB at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Her position as the dominant skip in the Scottish women’s game is, however, reinforced by the inclusion in her line-up of half of last year’s champion rink, Jen Dodds and Vicky Wright having joined forces with Muirhead, Vicki Chalmers and Lauren Gray at the beginning of this season.

“We are really looking forward to it after missing out on the chance to compete last year. We have a lot of experience plus two defending champs in our team, so we are in a good place after what was a bit more of a challenging start to our season,” said the 28 year old, who returned to the game after hip surgery last summer.

“We struggled a bit at the start of the season but we have had time together and this is now a really good time for us, we have prepared well for this championships and we are ready to go. “

As the top ranked side in the four team women’s event, Muirhead is well aware that there are high expectations, however she is keen to keep the focus this coming week firmly set on their own priorities.

“We have our tactical coach Glenn Howard with us this week, which is great as he will make sure we really concentrate on and play our own game. We know we have targets on our backs and we have to respect every team. This week it will be about keeping our games consistent and it will also be a week of patience,” she said.

“When I got my first national title under my belt I can remember how that felt and there were lots of big names in that event. It was a result that opened doors for me and showed me what I was capable of. Those are the prospects everyone is chasing and all teams are in this to do well, however winning the national title and qualifying for another world championships are high priorities on our list.”

Former world junior silver medallist Sophie Jackson will skip her programme-supported team who were last year’s runners up and this year they are hoping to feed off the know-how of former national championship winning skip, Tom Brewster, who has been coaching them since the start of the season.

“We are excited to get going after enjoying some good performances and successes at the recent World Cup. We are hoping to perform well and emulate our success at the Scottish Champs last year and it is a great opportunity to build up to the Winter University Games, which we will be competing in shortly after the Scottish,” said Jackson.

Scottish Curling’s national championships will be hosted at Perth’s Dewars Centre. The women’s event starts on Tuesday 12 February and tickets are on sale for the finals on Saturday 16th February. The women’s final takes place at 11.00am and the men’s final is at 4.00pm.

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Team Muirhead
Eve Muirhead
Jen Dodds
Vicki Chalmers
Lauren Gray
Vicky Wright
Coach: Glenn Howard

Team Jackson
Sophie Jackson
Naomi Brown
Mili Smith
Sophie Sinclair
Coach: Tom Brewster

Photos: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart. 

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