Season preview with head coach Dan Pratt

Edinburgh City head coach Daniel Pratt sat down with the Associated Press this week to discuss the club’s early season form, new training schedule and how his new signings are settling in.  Arriving at their training centre, the ‘Citizens’ coach seemed relaxed and in a very talkative mood as he discussed a number of topics in this wide ranging press conference.

Asked about how the training schedule has changed things at the club, Pratt responded “I’m delighted the club were able to double the number of training sessions this season, the extra time available has meant that we can focus more on specific training needs with players as well as the more traditional game-play, tactical aspects. With more regular training sessions, we have seen players pick up new skills far quicker than in previous seasons and the progression being made is good to see.”

 The first team have had a mixed start to the season, with wins against Saint Andrews and Dundee being offset by losses to last year’s champions Mavericks and a surprise loss to Edinburgh University. Pratt was asked how he felt the side had started this season and if he had any concerns with the results. “I’m not overly worried with the start to the season, we are going through a transition period at the moment and it was always likely that it would take some time to adapt. We’ve brought in some new players and it can sometimes be hard to settle in to a new system and style of playing but I’m really pleased to see the effort and application all players are putting in.”

The coach was quick to remind those attending that although the firsts had started slowly the reserves had begun the defence of their SKL2 crown in some style last weekend. “It’s always been a huge positive for the club to have strength in depth and with the second team you can see that clearly. After winning back-to-back titles, they have come out quickly again this season winning their opening games by large margins and showing some great promise. It’s important that during a rebuilding process that you have a good foundation and the club clearly has the right base to build from.”

The offseason saw a number of new faces join the club with City’s transfer spending continuing long after the season opener last month. There are whispers around the training facility that ECKC may still have another couple of signings to make in the coming weeks. With this, Pratt was pressed on how the new signings were fitting in and whether we could expect to see yet more players join the roster before the window closed.

“I’m pleased that the club has managed to get deals negotiated for a number of high-calibre signings, we lost a few key players in the off season and it was important that we looked to replace them as well as build on the existing squad we have.”

Last season’s top female scorer Ella Paul has joined cross town rivals Edinburgh University on loan for the season, along with Mark ‘Goose’ Goosens taking time out of the game for family reasons. On top of this, ECKC lost Daniel van Amersfoort to a career-ending injury just before the season started.

“The players the club have brought in are great signings” Pratt continued “They have some experience of playing in the league already and are all at the stage in their careers where they will grow and develop very quickly. The desire to learn in training has been refreshing and it’s exciting to be able to see them improve as the season goes on.”

 Edinburgh City made a number of young signings, with Kitty Dutton, Alex Johnston and Michael Garbutt transferring from Edinburgh University and the dynamic pairing of Nina Murdoch and Heather Mackintosh from Saint Andrews over the summer. Coach Pratt explained what it means for the club to have these players join “For me it’s essential that we brought in young players who are hungry. We have a lot of experience at the club and combining that with the raw energy the new players bring should make for an exciting blend this year.”

With the transfer deadline closing in, a number of journalists were keen to find out who the Citizens coach was looking to bring in after speculation had been growing over the past few days. Pratt responded delicately saying “I don’t like to talk about players who have not yet signed. Until they are a part of the club then it’s important not to get carried away with the rumours but I can say that the club is very close to bringing in perhaps two more players. I’m afraid that you will have to wait for the news along with our fans for who they are.”

As the press conference came to an end, the enigmatic coach was asked about his predictions for the rest of the season. He declined to speculate on who would take the title and where City may end up this season but did give some views on the league “I think it’s going to be a competitive season, Glasgow have made a number of good signings and have Calum Lindsay back from injury which will be a boost. Dundee have brought in McNulty to team up with Robertson (both ex-City players) and will look to improve on last year. I think after last season it’s always going to be difficult to look past Mavericks as front-runners especially after signing international stars Angus Davidson and Miriam Kleen. The whole league looks to have gained on where they were at this point last year so it’s exciting to see it play out over the next few months.”

 At this point Pratt brought an entertaining briefing to a close and made his way over to the training court thanking journalists as he exited the conference room.


Summer 2017 Signings

The 2017-2018 season is underway!  Here’s a (slightly overdue) round-up of our summer signings.

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Michael Garbutt – Michael joins ECKC from Edinburgh University having been an influential part of the 1st team squad there for a number of years.

Upon signing, Michael was looking forward to joining up with the Citizens and had this to say “I’m very pleased to be joining City and gaining experience alongside some great players.”

With the season getting underway in September, there is time for our new recruit to get stuck in to training and gel with the squad. Michael added “I’m looking forward to starting training and I can’t wait to step on court.”


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Nina Murdoch – Nina had been a highly sought after player during the transfer window, having captained Saint Andrews last season. After looking at offers across the globe including a very tempting contract in New Zealand, she has decided to become a Citizen at ECKC

Nina spoke of her joy about signing for the club “Everyone I’ve met so far at the club has been friendly and welcoming, I’ve enjoyed training greatly and I’m really looking forward to playing.”

Contract negotiations almost came to a halt over image rights, with our new flame-haired recruit concerned over clashes with the bright red kit of Edinburgh City. Luckily for all parties, Nina defied the wishes of her agent and has put pen to paper.

Murdoch has highlighted the 23rd September as her biggest moment for the season ahead, with an emotional return to Saint Andrews where she hopes the home fans will remember the years of service she has given there.


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Kitty Dutton – Kitty returns to Korfball after taking a year out of the sport to truly find herself in the northern wilds of Inverness. Kitty has a fantastic and enviable pedigree in the sport having previously been a BUCS medalist while at Edinburgh Uni as well as taking her career as far as Australia.

Speaking on the move Kitty cited the lack of Huntsman spiders as a particular incentive to return to the east coast of Scotland as well as the chance to rejoin some of her old team mates from her days at Edinburgh Uni. When asked to comment further on the move, she could not hide her excitement simply exclaiming ‘Woo!’.


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Alex Johnston – Alex too comes back to korfball after a year break and is eager to get back into the sport. Alex achieved success in his Edinburgh Uni days as part of the same medal winning team as new team mate, Kitty Dutton and will bring added steel, determination and strength to the Edinburgh City side.

Alex could not hide his enthusiasm and excitement in joining City this summer and cited some current members of the City squad as being particularly influential in persuading him to make the move.


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Heather MacKintosh – Heather finished last season as Saints top female scorer and will fit in well with a City team looking to improve its goal scoring options.
The paperwork has been approved by the SKA and speculation is high that Heather could make her debut for the Citizens as early as this Sunday.

At her unveiling, Heather has this to say to the associated press and fans gathered outside “It really was a no brainer. Nobody looks good in lime green, bright orange or pink. With the change to black and red I’m sure I can bring some sexy korf to ECKC.”

Head coach Dan Pratt was delighted with the signing adding “I gave the club a list of targets before the season started and Heather’s name was right at the top of the list. I’m glad we were able to get this one over the line before the transfer window closed.”