TEAM Scotland hockey captain Alan Forsyth says he will never get over being overlooked for Tokyo last year as he prepares to lead out his nation at his fourth Commonwealth Games writes Alec McQuarrie.
Forsyth, who was only selected as a reserve for the Olympic Games last summer, is still devastated by the decision and may face his GB teammates in Birmingham later this month.
But the Paisley-born forward is rare to go in Scotland colors ahead of this summer’s Games, where they face a group brimming with quality in the form of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan.
And the 30-year-old is taking confidence from a squad packed with youth and talent.
Forsyth said: “This is probably the toughest group out of the four for me. All the teams are world class.
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“It’s a really exciting team and a young squad. It makes me feel old seeing all the young kids come through.
“I remember when that was me and I still sometimes think that’s me. I need to realize it’s most definitely not. I’ll try and help them in any way possible.”
But going into the Games, being left out of last summer’s Olympics still strikes a nerve with the HGC player.
He said: “I’ll never understand why they made their decision.
“It’s the competitive side within me. Maybe when the time comes, when I hang the stick up I can look back at it, but right now I’m just so competitive.
“With anything I play, whether it’s playing golf with my mates on the weekend or playing board games with my girlfriend there’s always that side to me.
“I’m honestly still disappointed. I’ll never get over it.
“It’s something that I’ll always hold on to, but I’m just trying to learn to live with it.
“Luckily, I’ve had some time off. I’ve needed some time to try to get over it.
“I took a break over Christmas, the first time I’ve had a break in my hockey career, about six weeks off. It was nice and definitely helped.”
This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will comprise of over 250 athletes, and having secured his place on the squad, Forsyth is looking for medal success.
With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Forsyth hopes sharing his story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.
Thankfully a welcome distraction is right around the corner for a captain who has plenty of happy memories to look back on.
The Scot made his Commonwealth debut in Dehli in 2010, and has a signed top from his first Commonwealth Games framed on his bedroom wall and says it will always remain his favorite – even ahead of Glasgow 2014.
“I loved every bit of Delhi. The whole thing was just surreal.
“Obviously with it being my first one it’s very special.
“I’ve got a top signed from all three Commonwealth Games, but that’s the only one framed and hung up.”
Before last summer, Forsyth made the decision to move from Surbiton HC where he’d been for seven years to HGC in the Netherlands.
And although the Wassenaar side were knocked out in the play-off semi-finals this year, Forsyth, whose father Derek is Scotland’s head coach, is glad for the change.
“To be honest it’s been amazing. It’s just been so good. Even though the way it finished might not have been how I wanted it, the play-offs were so good.
“So many people come and watch. The atmosphere and the build up to it is brilliant.
“Even the training week leading up to the first game, I’ve never experienced anything like it. The buzz around the club, the buzz around the team.
“I’ve loved every minute of it.”
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