Dodds to skip Team Muirhead in Suzhou
JENNIFER DODDS TO STEP UP IN PLACE OF EVE MUIRHEAD
Jennifer Dodds will skip Team Muirhead at the Curling World Cup first leg in Suzhou as Eve Muirhead continues her rehabilitation after hip surgery in May.
Dodds, a member of Hannah Fleming’s Scottish Women’s Championship winning team last season, is making her debut for European champions Team Muirhead as they fly the flag for Scotland in the women’s event on September 12-16 in south east China.
Scotland will also be represented by Grand Slam winners Team Mouat in the men’s event at Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre.
Dodds, 26, is excited about the prospect of competing in the inaugural Curling World Cup and travelling to China for the second time in her career.
“This is going to be an amazing opportunity to play against some of the top teams in the world in the first World Cup which is great exposure for curling,” said Dodds.
“It is definitely going to be in at the deep end for this first competition but it will be a good gauge for the hard work we have been putting in over the summer. Some of things we have focused on are good communication and changing deliveries as we have adjusted to embedding the new positions and putting that into practice.
“It is going to be a good challenge being skip at this event, but changing the line-up temporarily means we will be very adaptable in our processes and robustness and versatility will be strengths for us moving forward.
“It will bring more knowledge into the team and more experience to the mix and whilst it will be challenging playing the best teams in the world at the very start of the season with a new line-up, we will meet those opponents many times throughout the season, so it may as well be right at the very start to provide us with more knowledge to take away, which will allow us to make the necessary adjustments, if we need to, for the following competitions,” Dodds reflected.
Scottish men’s skip Bruce Mouat is hopeful his team can make a strong start to boost their chances of qualifying for May’s Grand Final in Beijing, which will also host the Olympic Winter Games in 2022.
Mouat said: ”Obviously the new World Cup provides those of us with Olympic aspirations a kind of wonderful symmetry – starting and finishing the next four year cycle in Beijing, that is after all what we are all aiming for.
“It will be a new experience for me going east. We have had to be smart about planning ahead to overcome the jet lag as soon as possible so we are ready for this event and it will be exciting to see what the exposure will be like.”
Team Mouat won bronze when they made their debut at the World Championships in Las Vegas earlier this year and their skip is anticipating similar sized crowds.
“I am guessing this new event will have more of a world champs or Grand Slam feel to it and it will be great to be in an arena so early in the season which we wouldn’t normally get to do.
“PyeongChang hosting the Olympics generated good crowds and I am hopeful that this event will also attract good support. It’s exciting to be part of this historic occasion and it will be good to say in years to come we were part of the first staging of the event and a part of that history,” he added.