This weekend the first shinty of the 2024 season gets underway with the Mowi WCA North Division 2. The Mowi Game of the Week sees local rivals Kinlochshiel and Skye clash at Reraig. To preview the match, we sat down with Kinlochshiel II Captain, Isabella Langlands.

Overall, a new era for Kinlochshiel as their 2nd team plays their first game this Saturday, how great an achievement is that for the club?

It’s a fantastic achievement, it shows the great interest there is in women’s shinty. It’s a good opportunity for younger players but also for players that have experience in the past but haven’t played for a while  and want to get back in playing matches again.  It wasn’t until 6 years ago that Kinlochshiel managed to get a team together in the second division.  Now being able to have two teams, one national and one full of keen young and new players is a a really great position to be in.

The opening game being a local rivalry, how exciting a game is that?

I think it’ll be a good first match because the girls know each other it’s not so intimidating as playing a team that you don’t know as well.

The 1st team obviously played Skye B last year, if you were playing, what did you make of them?

I was there for that match and did play, It was a hard game. There were a lot of strong players on their team which our younger plays including myself found to be quite tough.

How do you think the girls will cope with having to field two teams a week this season?

I think because we have so many enthusiastic young players it will be great to have a team in the second division because it gives these players opportunities to have more game time in matches who maybe wouldn’t have gotten picked for the team before. This keeps momentum going which hopefully will encourage more players to come forward. The more matches we play the more experience we gain and it helps build confidence.

What are you most looking forward to about the new campaign?

I’m looking forward to seeing a big group of us playing more often, seeing us all develop and for us to get more competitive experience on the field. This team in division 2 is also about building a strong national team for the future which can only happen if we build up our younger squad of girls.