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While her brothers are on home ice, doing battle for the right to join her at the forthcoming European Championships next month, Eve Muirhead will be across the Atlantic finalising her own preparations against some of the best players in the world.

Glen and Thomas Muirhead are competing in a three team Euro qualifying play-off at Perth’s Dewars Centre this week, whilst their sister ensures she and her team mates get battle-hardened for international competition, as they start on another run of Canadian tournaments at the Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic in Alberta, which gets underway tomorrow (11-14 October).

The 2014 Olympic bronze medallist and her line-up of Lauren Gray, Jen Dodds and Vicky Wright will use their second Canadian trip of the season to gain top level competition ahead of their own European mission, having already been confirmed as Scotland’s women’s representatives in Sweden next month.

“We are looking forward to another three week campaign out in Canada,” said skip Eve Muirhead. 

“It’s going to be tough and the standard maybe even slightly higher than our last three events out here, which is good for us as a team to step up from before and have some really good competition.”

Their previous excursion saw them secure their first win in their season opener at the Oakville Fall Classic and follow that up reaching the knock-out stages at the Stu Sells and Shorty Jenkins. This trip will see them start in Calgary, before moving on to the Canad Inns Classic in Portage, in preparation for their final event and their first Grand Slam of the season at the end of this month.

“For us, that is what we train hard for year in and year out, to perform at these Grand Slam events and also at the majors as well, as this will be a stepping stone towards the Europeans that will take place only a few weeks post this trip,” added Muirhead.

“So it is a very important three weeks for us. We have put in a lot of ground work and trained very hard since our last events, to work on the little things that we think as a team will give us the advantage going in to our next trip. Preparations have gone well and we are hoping to put down some good results which will put us in good stead going into our first major of the year at the Europeans.”

Also in action this weekend are national champions Team Jackson and Team Wilson, who are embarking on their own European focused mission as they take on a high class field at the Women’s Masters in Basel tomorrow.

Team Wilson, the new recruits to the British Curling programme this season have enjoyed a promising start and are looking to keep that momentum going this weekend. Having reached the quarter finals at the Braehead Open, losing out to the 2018 Olympic men’s team skipped by Glen Muirhead, they followed that up with a fourth place finish at the PAF Masters in Finland, in a match that went to an extra end.

Skip Maggie Wilson who lives and works in Aberdeen, is looking forward to her first trip to Basel.

“We do take a lot of confidence from our recent results and we know where we need to improve. If we tighten up on a shot here and there it will start to make a difference, leaving fewer opportunities for our opponents, which will be really important in the high class field this weekend,” Wilson said.

“It will be the first time for all of us to experience Basel and we will need to adjust to a different style of game from Finland last weekend. It will be fantastic having our team coach Colin Morrison with us on this trip, having him watch our games and our team dynamics will really help in providing another perspective and help us to progress to the level we want to reach.” 

Please click here for results from the Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic (11-14 October)

Please click here for results from the Women’s Masters Basel (11-13 October)

Eve Muirhead
Lauren Gray
Jen Dodds
Vicky Wright

Sophie Jackson
Naomi Brown
Mili Smith
Sophie Sinclair

Rebecca Morrison
Maggie Wilson
Jennifer Marshall
Eilidh Yeats

Images ©: Graeme Hart.

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