The shinty season starts this Saturday with a full card of  standard Mowi League fixtures as well as WCA MOWI North 2 and South 2 with the WCA MOWI National starting the following week. This week’s MOWI Game of the Week sees MOWI National Division Champions Skye make the short trip to Reraig to take on 2021 Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup winners, Kinlochshiel.  To preview this fixture, we sat down with both captains, you can read what Jordan Fraser (Kinlochshiel) had to say here and you can see what John Gillies thinks below.

How has the club’s preseason gone, are the squad looking in good shape ahead of 2023, any new signings?

We’ve been lucky to have something on every weekend in February so far, beginning with a weekend in Ireland playing shinty/hurling, followed by Newtonmore and our annual sixes tournament last week. Training has been going well and the additions of Sam Stubbs and Kenny Cushnie will benefit us this season.

Obviously it was a successful 2022 for Skye, winning the MOWI National Division, undefeated at that. How much confidence does that give you going into this season?

Last season was successful as we had set out all season to get back to the premier but of course as champions topped it off. This season we know what to expect and know our home form will be a vital part if we’re to be successful.

It doesn’t get much more dramatic than a derby to start your campaign back in the top flight, how are you feeling about the game?

Couldn’t ask for a more exciting fixture to start things off. We’ve had a good preparation and over the few years we’ve met it’s always been close, it’s good to have the local derby back.

Kinlochshiel have had a fair bit of success over the past few years, what do you think their strengths are?

Always thought defensively they’ve been strong starting with Finlay Macrae but they can also score goals. Hopefully the youth will show come next Saturday.

What are the club’s aims for the season, silverware or safety?

The main aim is survival and getting points on the board early and hope to have a decent run in the cups. As I said before our home form will be key.

Which club do you think will be your biggest competition this year?

I think there’s a few teams who are in this bracket. The league is certainly strong but I certainly feel anyone can beat anyone, we’ll be looking to do a job on Beauly again.

Want more? Listen to the MOWI Half-Swing Podcast's Season Preview...