Katriona Allen: European Team Championships selection a career highlight

Katriona Allen says competing for Scotland at the European Team Championships in Poland next week will be a career highlight.

The 20-year-old has earned a call-up to the senior national team for the very first time and is determined to help Scotland win promotion to the top echelons of European squash.

Allen is part of a very strong looking women’s squad which will again be led by Scotland’s number one female player Lisa Aitken.

Aitken’s 2018 Commonwealth Games teammate Ali Thomson also earns selection alongside Robyn Young, Georgia Adderley and Allen.

Looking ahead to next week’s event which will be held at the Hasta La Vista Sport Center in Wrocław, Allen said: “I can’t wait, to achieve selection is one of the best moments in my career so far.

“It’s a big step for me after a challenging year off court and I am really pleased that all the hard work has paid off.

“For a lot of the year we are competing against each other to try and fight for these spots on the team, so it will be nice to now come together for Scotland.

“The team is really strong and hopefully we can come away with a gold medal and promotion to Division One.

“You can’t guarantee anything but we will give it our best shot.”

She continued: “Playing in a team comes with added pressure but it’s a good pressure and the reward is so much greater when you win. We are all really good friends.

“On a personal level, it’s a great opportunity to get some more experience surrounded by some of the best squash players in the world.

“I will enjoy the whole process.”

Allen has been training hard at the Oriam Performance Centre in recent weeks and last month in Nottingham she helped Edinburgh University win their first ever squash silver medal at a BUCS Championships.

The Sport Science student said: “It was a really good experience competing at the BUCS Championships and we were really happy to come away with a silver.

“Since then I’ve been training at the Oriam Performance Centre with Kylie Lyndsay who has filled in for Paul Bell whilst he was at the Commonwealth Games.

“She has brought new ideas and we have put in some good work over the past few weeks.

“I’m looking forward to seeing that come together at the Europeans.”

Meanwhile, the Men’s team will look to return to the podium next week at the European Team Championships.

Scotland narrowly missed out on a bronze medal last year having claimed third place in 2016.

The Men’s team sees Gold Coast Commonwealth Games trio Alan Clyne, Greg Lobban and Kevin Moran make a swift return to Scotland duty alongside Rory Stewart, Stuart George and Chris Leiper.

The action in Poland begins on Wednesday, May 2.

Full Scotland Squad for the 2018 European Team Championships, May 2-5.

Women’s Team: Lisa Aitken, Georgia Adderley, Katriona Allen, Robyn Young and Ali Thomson.

Men’s Team: Alan Clyne, Greg Lobban, Kevin Moran, Rory Stewart, Stuart George and Chris Leiper.