Camanachd Leodhais ready for belated season start

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Camanachd Leòdhais will have to get over the disappointment of their first game of the season against Inverness being cancelled.

This Saturday they will face Aberdeen University in the Granite City, and after a long trip they will face off against a familiar opponent, Uist Camanachd player Graham Black, who has become a mainstay in the Varsity side.

Graham is the most prominent player to come out of Uist in recent years, and along with Alasdair Ferguson, who is also involved with the University side, they are showing that the Western Isles is beginning to export players to mainland clubs and that they can be a success.

Graham, who is studying in the Oil Capital of Europe, said: “I’m looking forward to the game against Lewis, it should be a competitive fixture.

“It probably means a little more to me because of the shinty rivalry between Lewis and Uist, but what’s important is securing the win for Aberdeen this weekend.

“We started the season well last week against Strathspey and we want that to continue.”

Other than the HebCelt Cup, Uist do not field a senior team, meaning that Black would miss out on senior shinty if he stayed loyal to his island club all year. One Lewis player however, who has stayed loyal to his home club despite now living and working in Aberdeen is Scott Murray. The former player of the year would have a chance of getting into most mainland teams but puts in the long miles every weekend to play for the club with which he started in the Back Camanachd days under Boyd MacKenzie.

Scott explained: “It’ll be nice to have a lie in that’s for sure. I’m committed to the Dubh is Gorm, they’re my home team and whilst it’s difficult training in isolation sometimes, I try and keep up to date with what’s going – I’ve also started a training group on-line for all our players, whether at home or away, so we can all stay motivated and motivate each other as well.”

Iain Sinclair has a few players unavailable for the long journey to the East Coast, but will still have a strong squad to pull from as they attempt to get their season off to a winning start.

Lewis will also face University opposition at the end of March when another mainland exile, Micheál Macdonald, presently captain of St Andrew’s University, takes his side on a tour of the Hebrides, with a friendly game between the two sides scheduled for the late afternoon/evening of Wednesday 25th March.

Aberdeen University vs Camanachd Leòdhais @ Balgownie, Aberdeen 2.30pm.