WHYTE TO JOIN MOUAT’S MEN AT WORLD CHAMPS AFTER FACING THEM IN ABERDEEN
Ross Whyte is looking forward to once again taking part in a World Championships later this month after being selected as Scotland’s fifth player for the event, but his priority ahead of that is to ensure that the men he will be joining do not enjoy a winning send off.
The 21-year-old skip will lead his regular colleagues into action at the Aberdeen International (12-15 April), their final event of what has been a highly successful first full season on the senior circuit. And after reaching the play-offs at 10 events in succession, Whyte and teammates Robin Brydone, Duncan McFadzean and Euan Kyle believe they have every chance of claiming a third World Curling Tour title of the season, to add to their successes at the Prague Classic and the Dumfries Challenger in a competition that will feature more than half the World Championships field, including Scotland’s representatives Team Mouat.
“We are very much looking forward to Aberdeen this weekend,” said Whyte.
“We are hoping we can finish well and have a good run in Aberdeen. We have continued training hard after the Scottish on some aspects that we needed to improve and feel like we have a great chance.”
While he will be doing everything in his power to beat them to the title in the Granite City, Whyte is also excited by the prospect of being Scotland’s alternate at a World Championships, having done so a year ago and, prior to that, when Bruce Mouat’s rink became European Champions in 2018.
“This is our last event together this year before I head off to the LGT World Men’s Curling Championships in Glasgow with Team Mouat and it will be great to be back with the team,” he said.
“Every time I’m with them I learn lots from Alan (Hannah, Team Mouat’s Coach), Dave (Murdoch, British Curling’s National Coach) and the boys. They provide a lot of knowledge and are happy to share it at all times. I always love putting on the Saltire no matter what role I have to play in the team, as it’s always a great honour.”
Along with regular teammates Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie and Hammy McMillan, Bruce Mouat is meanwhile keen to ensure that ahead of a rare opportunity to play in a World Championships in Scotland, they maintain their impressive record on home ice this year that has seen them win the Perth Masters as well as a third successive national title.
“We are looking forward to getting back into competitive action as a team,” said Mouat, who booked the chance to play in a second World Championship this year when he and Jen Dodds won the title at the recent Scottish Mixed Doubles Championships.
“We have had a couple of weeks off after the Scottish and we used that time to reflect on how we did and hopefully build that preparation into Aberdeen which in turn will lead to the Worlds in Glasgow and hopefully some success in Aberdeen will give us some momentum going into that World Championships.”
However he knows how tough that will be, up against seven of the other 12 national teams competing at the World Championships, as well as major domestic rivals in Whyte’s up-and-comers, Team Paterson, who beat Mouat in the first ever all-Scottish Grand Slam final in Canada last year and Team Muirhead’s 2018 Olympians, the runners-up at each of the last two Scottish Championships.
“We have chosen Ross Whyte as our fifth player and are quite excited to have him on board again after he helped us to European Champs success a few years ago and at the Worlds in Lethbridge (Canada) last year, so we know what he is like and what he is going to bring to the table. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him doing well this weekend as well. He has a really good team behind him and we certainly see them as stiff opposition for this weekend.
“The competition itself looks as though it has a really good field as well a lot of teams that will be at the Worlds, so it is a great opportunity to put ourselves up against the likes of those teams.
“The first team we meet will be Van Dorp (Netherlands) who we will play in Glasgow, so it will be good to gauge how they are playing and also how we are playing against them and any tactical tips we can take into the World Champs.
“We are looking forward to getting on ice as a four after mixed doubles. There was lots of training again in the last week, so we are ready to go.”
British Curling programme teams competing at Aberdeen International:
TEAM SCOTLAND – WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP REPRESENTATIVES:
Bruce Mouat (Edinburgh)
Grant Hardie (Glasgow)
Bobby Lammie (Glasgow)
Hammy McMillan (Glasgow)
Ross Whyte – alternate (Stirling)
Please click here for results from the WCT Aberdeen International.
Please click here for more information on the LGT World Men’s Curling Championships (28 March – 5 April).
Images: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart