Arbroath’s very own Ryan Burnett is among four players chosen to turn out in the Junior World Bowls Championships in Australia later this year.
Ryan will join current Scotland internationals Kevin Anderson (Dumbarton), Lesley Gordon (Strathmiglo) and Stacey Laidlaw (Dalkeith) to compete in the event, hosted by 2018 Commonwealth Games venue Broadbeach Bowling Club on the Gold Coast from November 10 to 16.
“I’m delighted to be selected for the Junior World Championships. I’m really looking forward to it,” Ryan said. “I’ve represented Scotland before at international level, but to do it on the world stage is a dream come true and in a setting such as Australia is something very special.”
Ryan explained how the selection came about: “There was a training day with David Gourlay, Bowls Scotland’s head coach, and team manager Ricky Taylor. They chose five men and five ladies to attend the trial day and then they selected two men and two ladies to go over to Australia.
“We are going to have numerous training days throughout the season from now until the tournament. We will try and find out what the best pairing is so I will play with Lesley and then I will play with Stacey the next week until we find the right combination as we don’t need to name that until the last minute.
“I will be playing singles and mixed pairs. I’m really looking forward to it as they’re all good players.”
Although the final line-up of nations hasn’t been decided yet, Ryan added that there will be some top teams on the Gold Coast: “Obviously your big nations like South Africa, Australia, Wales and England and I would imagine you will probably have some of the Commonwealth nations as well such as Malaysia, but it is in the early stages at the moment,” he revealed.
And with a brother [Darren Burnett] who is the reigning World Indoor Champion, he certainly has someone close from which to gain some inspiration. “It’s always good having someone like Darren to help you along the way. He’s been there and done it, so I will obviously be looking for some advice from him,” added Ryan. “He is looking ahead to the Commonwealth Games and I wish him and all his team-mates all the best in the Commonwealth Games for Scotland. I’m sure they will do really well.”
Scotland is entering two teams into the Junior World Championships, for players between ages 18 and 25. Each player will compete in singles and a mixed pairs.
As Ryan revealed, the players were picked following a selection event which took place at Falkirk Indoor BC.
On the lightning-fast surface five male and female players were put through the Superbowl analysis programme (the same system used to help select Scotland’s Glasgow 2014 team), a series of drills followed by competitions.