MOWI Game of the Week

"Well it's certainly not an easy start for us, they are defending MOWI Premier League champions for a reason."

— Jamie Matheson, Lovat Co-Manager

The return of shinty means the return of the MOWI Game of the Week. This week we will be focussing on Mowi Premiership Champions Kingussie’s trip to Balgate to take on Lovat. As part of the build up to this game we spoke with Lovat Co-Manager Jamie Matheson about the start of the season and what it might bring.

1)     How have you found a return to shinty and pre-season? Do you feel well prepared for the season?

The return has been great just getting out of the house and seeing the lads again at this difficult time has been brilliant. I think we are as prepared as we can be with only 8 weeks of training in the last 15 months. Non-contact training was tough but the players put alot of hard work in and we are all excited to get going on Saturday.

2)     How much are you enjoying being back?

I’m loving being back and our attendances at training have been great so I think the boys are loving it too! It’s been hard to cram in everything we’ve wanted to do in 8 weeks but it will all be worth it come Saturday

3)     We had Rory MacKeachan, Kingussie Captain, on the Half-Swing Pod this week, he said you can’t read too much into pre-season friendlies, do you agree with this?

Yeah I completely agree with Rory. Our friendlies were great to get some of the rust of 15 months without shinty out of our lads systems! It gave us a chance to give the whole squad plenty of game time against 2 very good sides. I was very impressed with Skye’s young squad and can see them being tough to beat this year especially on the island!

4)     What kind of test are you expecting from Kingussie this weekend? What are their strengths?

Well it’s certainly not an easy start for us! We know it will be tough. They are defending MOWI Premier League champions for a reason. They’re a young fit side and you can tell alot of the boys have played together through the different youth levels together. They are very good going forward and score a lot of goals but we will do everything we can to keep them quiet come Saturday. Myself and Al have had many a phonecall discussing all our ideas and plans to get the result we are looking for.

5)     Gary Innes said a couple of weeks ago that he expects the Badenoch teams to battle it out at the top of the table, but can Lovat hope to challenge for the Mowi Senior League B this year?

I can see where Gary is coming from as Kingussie are MOWI Premier Champions and Newtonmore have been the dominant force in shinty for the last 10 years! We know it certainly won’t be easy but if we can keep the squad injury and suspension free then we definitely have a good enough squad to win the league. There won’t be any easy games in the league with a Derby with our local rivals Beauly a fixture I’m sure both clubs are looking forward to especially after the Lovat Cup was cancelled. Caberfeidh are capable of beating anyone on there day and with Kevin Bartlett and Craig Morrison up front I’m sure they will score plenty of goals!

If you want to hear from Kingussie then be sure to check out the MOWI Half-Swing Podcast below where Kingussie Captain, Rory MacKeachan talks about how he expects it all to go down this weekend.