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 below and look out for a John Gillies interview later this week.

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

Although we haven’t had as many friendlies on grass as we would like. It’s going well the boys are all working hard and are keen to get the season started. We have something new this year that we have never had in previous years and that is depth in almost all areas of our squad. We gained 3 new signings with  Oliver MacRae and Jonnie Macaskill both returning from Glasgow as well as Ruaridh MacDonald from Invergarry. This along with some very talented young players coming through our youth system mean that we are looking very strong. With new management in Willie Dooncie MacRae It should give us a fresh start to build of this season.

  • 2022 was a decent year for Shiel, finishing 2nd in the league just 4 points off Grand Slam winners Kingussie, does that give you confidence to kick on this year?

We did finish just off Kingussie in league but I would say on behalf of the whole club it was a disappointing season for Kinlochshiel. We dropped a few careless points against teams we should have been beating week in week out. I think we have taken into consideration what we need to work on and will use it to strengthen ourselves for the 2023 season.

  • 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?

It’s always good to be back playing derby games in the league. Skye are always determined to beat us and they have one or two decent players so it won’t be an easy game.

  • Skye won the MOWI National Division last year, what do you think their strengths are?

Skye have still got a very young squad and you can see they are growing in strength. It’s tough coming into the MOWI Premiership, as we know ourselves after struggling for a good few years before working our way up the ladder. If Skye can stay in the league then they will grow in strength and confidence.

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

We obviously want to win everything we can that’s always our goal. We will just be focused on the game that is in front of us and build from there. We should be treating every game like a final whether it’s in the league or any of the cups.

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

There are no real easy opponents in the MOWI Premiership but I would have to say that our games against Kingussie and Lovat are always tight. We have similar playing styles and strengths so we will have to work hard to ensure we come out on top.

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