Scotland’s interim coach Chris Duncan (pictured) praised the women’s squad who finished third in the World Cup qualifiers in Italy.

The team did not achieve their goal of booking a ticket to next year’s World Cup split between The Netherlands and Spain.

But Edinburgh-based Duncan said he was proud of the team which bounced back from a crushing semi-final defeat to Wales on Saturday after a shootout.

The sides were level at 0-0 after full-time but Wales won the shootout 3-1.

Scotland, however, found a way to edge a tough Belarus squad 2-1 to clinch third spot in the eight-team tournament in Pisa thanks to a double from Wimbledon star Fiona Burnet.

Ireland squeezed past Wales 2-1 in a tough final to book their ticket to the World Cup but Duncan admitted: “The girls were dejected and struggling for energy after losing in the semi-final (to Wales).

“I was pretty proud of them to come out (in the third and fourth play-off place game) and put on the performance that they did. They showed a great level of energy and they deserved the win.”

Reflecting on the tournament overall Duncan, the director of hockey at Edinburgh Academy, said the squad were seeded third in the event and they achieved that position.

He added: “We came here (to Italy) hoping for more and, like every single team here, we really wanted to get to the World Cup.”

Looking forward, Scotland, he said, as one of the Commonwealth nations, Scotland have the Commonwealth Games to look forward to.

Duncan added: “We will be starting to put processes in place to make sure we can perform there and we also have the European Nations qualifiers to look forward to.

“However, the girls have worked really, really hard this summer so they will all enjoy some time off during the winter.”