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Edinburgh City Korfball Club

Scotland's oldest korfball club and current Scottish champions

Perfect start

City 1 had the perfect start to the defence of their league crown in the opening set of fixtures for the 2016/17 season as St Andrews University 1 and Edinburgh Mavericks 2 were the visitors to City’s home turf at Broughton.

The Saints game saw City give debuts to both Lauren Halkerston and Finlay Hannah – City scored consistently throughout the match, with both Lauren and Finlay on the scoresheet, and in the second half the experience of the reigning champions shone through and prevented Saints creating scoring opportunities and City ran out 18-7 winners

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A never-to-be-underestimated Mavs 2 made City start very cagily, with the teams level for much of the first half.  City managed to keep applying the pressure throughout the game, with high-intensity defence, good recycling of the ball and regular scoring and came away with a 12-8 victory.

City 2 were scheduled to be taking on division two newbies Strathclyde University and Edinburgh University 3, but unfortunately these matches had to be postponed, so City 2 will have to wait a few weeks to get their title defence underway.

Europa Cup reflections

Last weekend saw ECKC enter the qualification round for the Europa Cup, korfball’s most prodigious club competition.  I couldn’t have asked for a better group of players to go with, the spirit within the playing squad was fantastic and I was delighted that Graham Robertson had agreed to come along as part of the coaching team. His input was invaluable and meant that I could focus mainly on playing rather than coaching whilst on-court.

Our first match was against the French champions Bonson, this was a crucial one as the other teams in our group were viewed as overwhelming favourites to qualify before the tournament started.

Unfortunately for us we made a few too many errors during the game and despite a strong fight towards the end of the match it wasn’t enough to close the gap with the final score 15-12 in favour of the French side.

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The next match was against the Hungarian side Szentendrei and on paper was going to be the biggest challenge of the weekend.  But the fight and determination shown by ECKC was incredible, it was great to see the team going toe to toe with Szentendrei and the 7-14 scoreline did not reflect just how closely contested the match was.

With results going our way, qualification was still in our hands as long as we could beat Kocaeli by 4 or more goals in the final group match. The game plan for this match was to keep the tempo high throughout the match in the hope that the Turkish champions would tire in the latter stages.

By half time, the tactics seemed to be working. We were almost level with Kocaeli and they had begun to show signs of frustration. Everyone played their heart out and I really couldn’t have asked for any more from the players but towards the end of the match the goals just stopped flowing for both sides and it finished 12-15 to Kocaeli.

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The final match was to play for 7/8th place and there was little difference between the two positions, but with the new Scottish season getting underway it would be a great opportunity to take some momentum back home. The match also had some British pride at stake with the opposition being Welsh champions Cardiff Raptors.

The first half was comfortable for ECKC, controlling in attack and exerting real pressure in defence but conceding a very fortuitous goal just on the stroke at half time left the score at 7-4 going into the break. With substitutes coming on, ECKC lost a little bit of fluidity and allowed Cardiff to come back into the match but the lessons learned during the earlier matches meant that there was no panic. We soon were back into a commanding lead and closed the game out well to secure a morale boosting win to finish the tournament on a high.

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The team has improved so much since the process started just over a year ago, I’m hoping that in another year’s time I’ll be saying exactly the same again!

Scheduled Europa thanks

The Citizens squad travel to Cardiff tomorrow ahead of the weekend’s Europa Cup action – our group sees us taking on Bonson FJEP of France and Szentendrei of Hungary on Saturday afternoon/evening followed by Kocaeli University Sports Club of Turkey on Sunday morning.  The full schedule and constant updates will be availble through the IKF website here

The squad are the best prepared that we’ve ever been and, following a knowledge-garnering ‘friendly’ vs Mavs to Christen the fabulous new Oriam sports centre at Heriot-Watt University and instense summer training, we are excited to get on the court in Cardiff and perform like we know we can.

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And now for the gushing thanks – as we head to Cardiff we have achieved over 50% of our JustGiving fundraising plea to help us to cover the unexpectedly high tournament fee.  From the bottom of our hearts we thank: Geoff & Jean, Chris, Anonymous x 5, Vicky Bannister, Lynn D, Edward Bellamy & Mairead O’Dowd, Yasmeen Rabindranath, Sam Stevenson, Dale, Lee Gill, Erik R and Princess Emma Stanley – we are extraordinarily touched by your generosity and we aim to make you proud and justify your support of us.

Reports on Cardiff to follow, but from the whole squad, thank you again and only 2 more sleeps to go!

 

St Andrews/Dundee

Having celebrated winning both leagues in April, May gave a great opportunity to blow off some steam and play in a couple of relaxing tournaments north of Edinburgh.

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Luckily the weather held out and we finished 4th at St Andrews and 5th at Dundee, with somewhat makeshift teams calling in ringers from St Andrews, St Andrews Alumni and Northern Storm… thanks friends!

Fund-raising plea

From Edinburgh Evening News 03 September 2016:

The players of Edinburgh City Korfball Club are hoping some funding can help them fulfil their dream of playing in the IFK Europa Cup finals in Dordrecht, Holland, early next year, The current Scottish champions are hoping to book their trip to the Continent for the tournament that runs from January 12-14 when they face three qualification matches in Cardiff later this month.

However, the Stockbridge-based club were only recently informed they must pay £640 if they are to take their place on the court in Wales in three weeks. Korfball has similarities to both basketball and netball with eight players making up a team at any one time. The squads are also of mixed gender. Player/coach Dan Pratt, who is also vice-captain of the Scottish national team, is hopeful this is an opportunity the club doesn’t let slip by.
“We’ve confirmed our place for Cardiff but the entrance fee is around £640. Taking into account the cost of accommodation, food and drink, it is quite a lot,” Pratt explained.
“We’re always looking for funding and sponsorship as a club but the entrance fee is what we’re fundraising for at the moment.
“The qualification rounds are a little bit like the group stages of the Champions League. There are two groups of four and the top two from each group will qualify for the finals and join the six other teams in Holland who have already qualified. It’s a tough group as we’ve been drawn with the champions of both France and Turkey but we’ve got a strong squad going so we’re quite hopeful.

“The latest rankings have just been published and Scotland are 17th in the world so we’ll be hoping to break into the top ten in the next few years. The club is going to be playing some of our matches at the Oriam Centre at Heriot-Watt University as well so that’s great news for us.”

Anyone willing to help reach the club’s target of £640 can do so at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/edinburgh-city-korfball

Summer transfers round-up

A quick round-up of the summer transfers ahead of the start of the season in a couple of week’s time.

13880151_1144520338945213_6346024655494766800_nFormer President Goossens pictured with 4/6 of his new recruits outside the Citizen’s training complex at Broughton High School

13619820_1125115964218984_6469270319644540622_nJann-Michael Greenburg – a recent graduate of Edinburgh University, Jann has joined Edinburgh City to continue his development and to add further depth to the squad.

Jann stated how pleased he was at joining the current League Champions saying “I am very happy to be able to call City my new home for korfball. It’s a strong team with great players who have quickly become like family to me. I look forward to being able to contribute to the team.”

13599799_1129915253739055_5123410572833684424_nFinlay Hannah joins the club for after leaving Saints Andrews University.

ECKC are delighted to add another talented young player to the roster. Finlay shares that excitement in his first interview as a ‘Citizen’ saying “I’m delighted to say that I’ll be able to continue my korfball career playing for Edinburgh City KC next season. It’s a really nice team with some very experienced players that I’m hoping to learn lots from. I’m looking forward to continuing to develop my game and having a successful season.”

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Dave “Shoots” Ewing has returned to Scotland following a successful stint in the English league with Oxford City.

He had this to say after completing his medical with the club: “I’m excited to return to Scottish Korfball after a few years honing my skills in England. I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead and hope that I can help City to retain their league crown for the third year in a row.”

Dave Ewing brings with him more than just experience and enthusiasm, included in the transfer was another Oxford City star Ailith Pirie who has agreed to accompany Dave on this momentous move.

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Graham Robertson and Lucie Maupetit move to Dundee KC.

After playing huge roles in ECKC’s double championship run, they have been snapped up to play in orange and will no doubt provide a huge boost to Dundee this year.

They also take with them City’s sassiest mascot who will be sorely missed!

The club wishes them well at their new club and look forward to seeing them on court next season.

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President Mark Goosens welcomed Matt Ferguson to the club, the deal was completed last night with the former Edinburgh University player delighted to join the League Champions for the 2016/17 season.

In his first interview Matt expressed his pleasure with his new club “I’m really excited to be joining a club that has been improving every year and developing my own game surrounded by such a competitive squad.”

13902554_1142241525839761_5764128091812720880_nThe club has completed a double deal to also add Alison Scott to the roster for next season. With the upcoming Europa Cup, ECKC were keen to add depth and youth to the side that claimed last year’s crown.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to join the club. With a squad full of experience and probably the best coaching team in the country I’m looking forward to learning from the best. It will be incredible to train and play alongside Scottish Korfball’s most prodigious talent.”

Stirling bootcamp

The Citizens escaped from Edinburgh last weekend for a few days of the 3 Ts = training, theory and team bonding.  With a successful summer transfer window it was a great opportunity to integrate our new faces and to look forward to the season ahead.

A hard training session at Stenhousemuir Sports Centre was the focus and also a focus on not injuring each other playing other games across the weekend!

 

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