Western Wildcats Hockey Club - Internationalists 41-50

 
41. A.G. Joyce
 
 


Graham Joyce signalled his exceptional promise when he became the youngest ever participant in a Scottish Cup final aged just 15, appearing as a late substitute when Western lost 2-0 to Edinburgh Civil Service in 1991. Within two years he was a regular member of the 1st Team squad and came through as part of an outstanding clutch of young players that also included Vishal Marwaha, Euan Miller and Stuart McMorrow.

Tall, strong, fast and powerful, his natural athleticism and excellent close-control added to an eye-wateringly powerful shot made him a formidable centre-forward. Indeed his career took him to spells in both Holland and England such was his ability at his peak.

Given these qualities, Joyce’s 31 caps is a  relatively low number but can be explained partly by recurring problems with injury but also by a restlessness of spirit which saw him take up other sports and interests, often with conspicuous success (he was a highly rated sprinter).

He won several honours with the club in the late nineties and made a sensational comeback in 2003 when, following a season spent mainly playing socially in the 3rd Team, he set alight the Scottish Cup final with two spectacular goals in a 3-1 defeat of Kelburne.

Always keen to do more than just play, he made a major contribution to the junior set up at the club as well as running several highly successful summer camps at Auchenhowie. He has since dabbled in coaching as well as making limited appearances for, among others, Watsonians.

 
   
 
44. R. Forsyth
 
 

A Fifer, Richie Forsyth joined Western in the mid-nineties from Inverleith and was a dynamic and influential central midfielder for several seasons before embarking on an army career.

This profile will be updated and extended soon.
 
   
 
47. B.J. Kane
 
 


One of many local lads to play for Western and Scotland, Barry Kane quickly established himself as one to watch as he began his career in the lower elevens. His rise was rapid and he soon found himself involved in a 1st Team which was very much on the up and packed with internationalists.

Blessed with sharp acceleration, a long reach and excellent skill, his acute hockey intelligence and cool head saw him become an outstanding Western forward in an era of outstanding Western forwards and he formed an almost telepathic partnership with Scott McCartney as the club dominated Scottish hockey and began to make inroads towards European success. Indeed, it was Kane who famously put his team 1-1 against the mighty Bloemendaal in the European ‘A’ Division in 2001.

Always a cerebral player, he was able to move back into midfield seamlessly as his career progressed and he captained Western to a league and cup double in 2003/04 before, injured, watching the team cruise to victory in the European Cup ‘B’ Division in Prague in the same season.

Before his thirtieth birthday, Kane decided that he had had enough of playing at the top level and took the bold decision to step down and commit himself to playing in the 3rd Team as coach to the next generation of star players. He remains in this role today.

 
   
 
50. K.T. Kane
 
 


Kris Kane became Scotland’s youngest ever international goalkeeper when he made his debut against Bangladesh at the age of 20. A commanding presence in any team, his athletic shot-stopping, aggression and willingness to patrol the whole D and not just his goal-line made him an intimidating and enormously effective last line of defence. Always fiercely competitive, his utter determination to win any contest made him a driving force of the 1st Team for well over a decade.

A spell playing in the top-flight in Holland was the only hiatus in a club career otherwise spent entirely with Western and his contribution as an absolutely first class goalkeeper is only part of the story. As player-coach, he took his team to within an ace of snatching a league title from an otherwise unstoppable Kelburne side in 2008. The crowning glory of his coaching career, however, must be its last domestic hurrah: a sensational 5-4 Scottish Cup Final victory over the Paisley side in which he was personally outstanding. This was his last 1st Team game on Scottish soil and he bowed out of top-level hockey at the end of that season.

A Western man to the core, the club coffers have had the benefit of tens of thousands of pounds through Kane’s many and varied fundraising initiatives and he was a key figure in the project to lay a water-based surface at Auchenhowie. He remains a vital figure around the club.

 
   
 
42. K. Squire
 
 


Kevin Squire is one of many Dundonians to have represented Western. He joined from Menzieshill and his intelligent, unselfish approach to the game allied to excellent technique made him a highly valued member of a successful team.

With his Menzieshill pedigree, he was a very able proponent of the indoor game.

This profile will be updated and extended soon.

 
   
 
45. V. Marwaha
 
 


Coming from a hockey background (his father and uncle both played the game, as did a number of cousins as well as his younger brother) it is little wonder that the young Vishal Marwaha would find his way to Auchenhowie sooner rather than later. It is to Western’s abundant good fortune that he did as Marwaha has since gone on to win a record haul of caps in an international career spanning three decades as well as picking up trophy after trophy domestically for Western.

It is somewhat ironic that perhaps the most auspicious player that the club has ever produced made his debut at its least auspicious time: during the 0-0 draw with Stirling Wanderers that led directly to relegation in 1992. This proved something of a blessing, albeit one that came heavily disguised, because, as with several of his generation, his breakthrough season came in 1992-93 when the club found itself in Divison 2 for the only time in its history. Marwaha established himself in the 1st Team that year and went from strength to strength in the following seasons, eventually helping win the cup in 1996 and the club’s first ever league title in 1997, along the way establishing himself in the Scotland set-up following his debut against France in 1996.

As well as being an almost ever-present during the club’s golden era of the late nineties and early noughties, Marwaha’s international career flourished. He eventually played in the European Championships and two Commonwealth Games for Scotland (Melbourne and then Delhi), as well as representing Great Britain in Vancouver.  Scotland's most capped player, Vishal amassed 190 outdoor caps for Scotland and 13 for GB.

Prodigiously skilful, Marwaha’s outstanding technical ability and control made him an opponent it was virtually impossible to dispossess and this, allied to fitness, intelligent distribution and a ferocious competitive spirit plus the ability to pitch in with important goals, led to his being comfortable in just about any midfield against almost any opponent. Latterly his career saw him drop back into defence with predictable aplomb. With his particular skill-set it was inevitable that he would be an outstanding exponent of the indoor code and so it proved as he gained 53 caps in an era when indoor international fixtures were relatively thin on the ground.

His retirement in 2011 - following the last hurrah of a final, emotional, Scottish Cup win - led some to wonder whether this might signal the end of an era. Happily, this is not the case and not only did Vishal coach the 1s between 2011 and 2013 but made a return to playing duties for 2013-14.

 
   
 
48. S.W.R. McCartney
 
 


Perhaps the most devastatingly accomplished goal-scorer the club has ever had, Scott McCartney joined Western in the late nineties and had to spend some time in the 2nd Team before his 1st Team career truly blossomed. Quick and skilful as a youngster, his style of play has matured as the years have passed and he provides a highly reliable outlet for teammates under pressure who need the ball to go to the forward line and stick when it gets there.

McCartney’s main asset, though, is simply a gimlet-eyed cool as soon as he is in possession of the ball in the D. This remarkable ability in front of goal led to his being in the top three goal-scorers in Scotland for nine years of a ten year spell. What about the year he missed out? The one season he spent playing in Eindhoven, obviously. Perhaps his greatest achievement was to be top goal-scorer at the European ‘A’ Division in Bloemendaal in 2001.

A fabulous indoor player and an absolutely lethal penalty corner striker at his peak, his relatively low total of caps must serve as something of a rebuke to an international set-up unable to properly harness such a ruthless predator.

As laid-back and friendly in person as he is cold-eyed and effective in front of goal, “Scooter” remains an enormously popular figure around the club and a vital part of today’s 1st Team.

 
   
 
43. E.N. Miller
 
 


Euan Miller was another of the prodigious group of young players who emerged at Auchenhowie in the early nineties and went on to form the corner- stone of the successful team that won seven Scottish titles in eight seasons. A highly capable centre-half who relied on relentless practice and hard work to mould himself into an accomplished internationalist and very successful 1st Team captain, Miller’s twenty year spell at the top level stands testament to a focused and driven personality who made the very most of what he had as a player.

Now Western’s longest serving 1st Team member, he broke into the squad in 1992 under the tutelage of mentor Michael Starling. During Western’s spell in Division 2 the following year, he – along with several other very young players – grabbed his chance to become part of the 1st Team starting line-up and he has yet to relinquish his grip. Originally deployed in midfield, he was soon mov his natural home at centre-back and quickly formed a redoubtable partnership with Murray Laing. Strong, fit, technically sound and possessed of an iron will to win, Miller has played his part in every single season since 1991 and shows little sign of letting up just yet.
These qualities were also invaluable in the indoor arena, where he also won internation selection.

As well as captaining the 1st Team for three successful years between 1998 and 2001, he has also had a spell as coach culminating in the 1sts winning  the Gold Medal in the 2007 European Club Championship B Division in Prague - a career highlight.

 Over the past few seasons, he has transformed the club’s junior section, putting to use his extensive coaching knowledge and experience in developing the stars of the future.

 
   
 
46. G.B. Dunlop
 
 


Graham “Cheesy” Dunlop emerged as a highly rated teenager at Clydesdale before his enrolment at Moray House to train as a PE Teacher prompted a move to Grange. Already a full internationalist by the time he returned to Glasgow and joined Western, he became a vital part of the all-conquering side of the late nineties and early noughties while at the same time building an outstanding career for Scotland and Great Britain.

Almost flawless technically and possessed of outstanding fitness and physical conditioning, Dunlop was a fixture at left-back for Western, Scotland and, eventually, Great Britain. The highlight of his career came in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games where he was one of three Scots to represent GB but he also participated in Commonwealth Games, and European Championships for Scotland as well as collecting a haul of silverware and starring in a variety of successful European campaigns for Western.

Inevitably, Dunlop’s Western career came to an end with a return to his roots at Titwood where he plays for a Clydesdale side emerging as a force in the Scottish game. He is also beginning to make a name for himself as a coach both with Clydesdale and Scotland youth sides.

 
   
 
49. D. Mitchell
 
 


Raised in Motherwell, Dave Mitchell was introduced to hockey as a pupil at Dalziel High School where his PE Teacher described him as the best sportsman she had ever worked with. His senior career began with Motherwell Hockey Club before he moved to Western while still a teenager.

Capable of playing anywhere across the back line or in midfield, Mitchell’s searing pace and outstanding control, coupled with excellent reading of the game and dogged defensive ability made him an exceptional attacking right-back. He collected a hat-full of caps for Scotland and played for Great Britain, going to the 2004 Olympics as a reserve, as well as picking up an impressive haul of trophies domestically as part of Western’s most successful ever teams.

Another individual who struggled with injury, he remained a class act in Western teams at home and in Europe for nearly a decade before a young family and his professional life as an accountant meant that hockey ceased to be a priority. Fittingly, he was voted Player of the Year at the end of his final season, 2008/09.