Glasson’s Gossip – Our National Coach reports from Glasgow

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Bowls Australia : Steve, how pleased are you with the way in which the team arrived in Scotland and settled into their first home in Ayr after a 21 hour flight from Sydney via Dubai? Steve Glasson : Really pleased. It was nice to not go straight into the hustle and bustle of Glasgow straight away and have some quiet time in Ayr with a practice match to keep the skills honed and just bond and chat about the tasks and challenges ahead. BA: Have you had much of a chance to get some practice in at Kelvingrove? SG: Yes, we made the trip into Kelvingrove before we moved into the Athletes Village on three occasions which was terrific as it gave the players a sense of occasion seeing the venue dressed with all the signage and infrastructure so they became very aware very quickly that it was almost show time – as well as some crucial exposure to the greens. BA: Everyone fit and well? SG: Sure are. We’ve had the odd player visit the team physio just for some general tiredness and soreness but after a long trip, some bus travel to and from Glasgow early in our trip when we were based in Ayr and a different climate, that is to be expected. But all well and firing, especially our team vocalist in the national anthem rendition at the official welcome function, Timmy Slater BA: How have you found the team to be handling being in the village and out and about in Glasgow with all the colour, movement, crowds and theming – are some a little star struck? SG: Not really although I wouldn’t be surprised if some are enjoying that element without saying so. We’ve got a great blend of youth and experience – Karen Murphy has been to four Games, Lynsey Clarke three and then there are some debutants as well so everyone is really supportive of each other’s position and in how they are preparing – even some of the ‘old’ hands seem to be quite excited and at times soaking up the atmosphere which is terrific but we are keen for that to be overtaken by mental preparation before day 1 of competition – but they do need to enjoy the experience. BA: You’ve encouraged the players to spend some time out and about and soaking up the atmosphere haven’t you? SG : Yes, to a point. It is easy to get too caught up and there are official functions and ceremonies to attend before the competition starts so we do give them some free time but they are still reminded constantly that it isn’t a holiday but the occasion is too big to ignore the hoopla so it is a fine balancing act and I believe so far that they have found the balance pretty well. BA: No doubt a couple of old Commonwealth Games stagers among the support crew such as Kelvin Kerkow and Robbie Dobbins will help to keep things in check? SG: Yes, that’s right. It is great to have people among the coaching staff and team management that have been here (at a Commonwealth Games) before but make no mistake, every player is acutely aware of what lies ahead as they have been preparing for this time of their lives for a long time and like Matthew Flapper said in an interview at home recently, none of them know how many chances at this they will get so their mental preparation is sound and in control, I’m happy to say BA: Are the conditions of the greens what you had hoped for following all your ‘acclimatising’ in Melbourne before you left? SG: Yes, the conditions of the Maribyrnong Bowls Club in Melbourne were possibly harder than here which suits us well and will give us a good preparation ahead of the competition here. The weather for the next few days is pretty good with low to mid 20’s forecast which is perfect BA: What is the accommodation situation like in the Athlete’s Village? SG: Great. The Aussies are all in one area and each house has four levels and the whole bowls team are in the same building which is so convenient. Our rooms are serviced daily and the food hall is huge and can seat 2,014 (roughly) people at a time – and given there are over 7,000 people in the Village it is a great place to be and to mingle …