SCOTLAND'S EURO CHAMPS CONTENDERS HEAD FOR SWISS TEST

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Fresh from winning their opening event of the season at the Braehead Open last weekend, Olympians Team Glen Muirhead get their first chance to test themselves at international level at the Swiss Cup in Basel tomorrow (3-6 October).

“Braehead was a great start to the season. It was good to get some competitive games under our belts and it worked out quite well for us, implementing our practice into game-plans. But this will be our first chance to test ourselves against the top European teams since last year and we are really looking forward to it,” said Glen Muirhead, who skipped brother Thomas, Cammy Smith and Craig Waddell, the stand-in in for Kyle Smith in their season opener.

However this weekend Muirhead is joined by his full team at the Swiss Cup and he feels the inaugural domestic event and early success has prepared them well.

“Hopefully we can carry some momentum from last weekend in Braehead and be in better shape for Basel, as we really want to make the most of our trips abroad this year,” he said.

“We are aiming to build on the intensity and focus we achieved last season, which was about us settling into our new positions and getting results on tour. We need to keep building on those foundations and not take anything for granted. We are all very competitive by nature, so that should not be a problem for us.”

Scotland’s European Champions are also in the line-up and skip Bruce Mouat‘s first target this weekend is to ensure his rink make it to the qualifying rounds.

“We are hoping to get back to the form we started the season with,” said Mouat, whose quartet reached the semi final in Baden and followed that with a quarter final finish at the Stu Sells in Canada. 

“We have had a good record at qualifying at this event in the past, but it would be good to step up a gear this time as we want to go as far as we can.”

The third of the teams that will, on their return from Switzerland, take part in the play-off to represent Scotland at the forthcoming European Championships, Grand Slam champions Team Paterson, are also part of the high quality field. Like their compatriots they are consequently looking to put a marker down this weekend.

“The Basel tournament is a 32 team triple knock-out which can be a tough event, as if you lose at the wrong time you can find yourself having a very busy couple of days, so you know you need to perform well throughout in order to qualify. Once you are through to the knock-out stages you fancy your chances,” said Paterson.

“We are looking to have a strong weekend in Basel and take the confidence from that to set us up for the Euro qualifier with Mouat and Muirhead in Perth next week,” he added. 

Team Bryce is also competing in Switzerland this week, whilst Team Whyte are representing Scottish interests at the Stu Sells in Toronto, in the last event of their Canadian campaign having reached the knock-out stages in their first two tournaments.

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Images: © Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart. 

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