Edinburgh schoolteacher Louise Campbell has been forced to withdraw from the Scotland women’s squad on the eve of their World Cup qualifiers in Italy.
The experienced, Perth-born international, who plays for Edinburgh University and is a PE teacher at St George’s School in the Capital, has withdrawn from the 18-strong squad for Pisa and is replaced by Uddingston player McKenzie Bell.
Heather McEwan, who plays for Belgian club, Royal Victory, has been called up to join Kerry-Anne Hastings (Durham University) as one of the two travelling reserves.
It’s a setback for the squad’s Edinburgh-based interim head coach Chris Duncan and his assistant Vicky Bunce from Dundee as Campbell is one of the key members of the squad, both on and off the pitch.
Duncan said one of his biggest struggles in the build-up to the event from October 21 to 24 has been that many of the squad now play abroad.
He added: “They are professional hockey players and that is their livelihood and they have not been able to travel back to Scotland for training due to quarantine periods and mass testing.
“We have, however, had a really positive eight-week block and we have had opportunities to train and play against local club teams and we managed to play two games against the Great Britain youth development programme and two games against Wales topped it off two weeks ago.
“That was useful for us as Wales are going to the same tournament so it was a good learning experience.”