Edinburgh International Seniors preview

The 2012 mens world senior champions will be representing Ireland in the Edinburgh International Seniors Championships from  Friday, November 22 to Sunday, November 24, at Murrayfield Ice Rink.

European Mixed Curling Championships 2013The team, skipped by Johnjo Kenny, are in Section A along with rinks skipped by Robin Aitken, Gary Macfarlane, Ken Watson, Ian Gillespie, John Summers, Alastair Smith and Alan Durno.

In Section B the line up is Norman Brown, Russ Armstrong (who some of us will remember playing for the USA at the Silver Broom in the Kelvin Hall in 1985), John Dignan, Jim Stirling, Keith Prentice, Michael Sutherland, Graeme Adam and Archie Craig.

The team’s first game is against well-known English senior player John Summers and his team at 12.30pm on Friday, with their next draw at 5.45pm. Saturday sees them on the ice at 9am and 2.15pm. The quarter finals are at 9am on the Sunday with the semis at 12 noon and the final at 3pm.

Skip Johnjo spoke exclusively to the chief ICA blogger ahead of the competition and answered a few searching questions:

LK – Who do you see as the danger teams at Murrayfield this weekend?
JJK –  All of them!  I never look past the first game in the draw and that will be difficult enough against John Summers’ England team.
LK – Who will  be playing this time and the advantages (and disadvantages – if there are any!) of a 6-man squad?
JJK – The advantage is that we can sometimes get a team on the ice! We have only had 5 scheduled games this season and have never had 6 to choose from. I missed 3 games with work commitments at the European Invitation, David Hume is just back from white water rafting round the southern hemisphere and this week Tony (Tierney) is committed elsewhere. The 6 man squad came about due to a number of factors and I think it is working well for us. Neil is enjoying our laid back banter so far (I think) so no disadvantages so far!
LK – Any plans for further competition or training session between the end of the Edinburgh International and the Irish Senior playdowns in January?
JJK – No competitions but hopefully practice…as much as possible!. Everything at this point of the season is really practice. We are trying to give Neil (Fyfe) as many games as possible as the newbie on the team and David Hume will be given the opportunity to find his ice “legs” again in Edinburgh. Emails and spreadsheets have been flying through cyber space for the past few weeks as we try and nail down some practice time, not with any real degree of success so far.
LK – What are your goals this week?
JJK – We are hoping (as always) that we will be a bit better than we were last time out and will target getting through to Sunday. It has to be said “schenkel” is not my preferred system of play but if we can negotiate our way to the knockout phase it will be a worthwhile exercise. We enjoy the pressure of knock-out games.

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