Winter Olympics - Hay urges curlers to step up

Fri, 26 Feb 14:19:00 2010

British curling coach David Hay has encouraged the next generation of Scottish players to step up, following skip David Murdoch's failure to win an Olympic medal in Vancouver.

CURLING Scotland's skip David Murdoch shouts to teammates to sweep during their playoff game against Canada at the World Men's Curling Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick - 0

Murdoch was viewed as one of the British team's medal bankers, after reaching three World Championship finals, twice winning the title, in the last four years.

The 31-year old has claimed he is keen to continue to Sochi but Hay believes it will be a new-look rink that competes in the Black Sea Russian resort - third Ewan MacDonald will be 38, second Euan Byers 39 and lead Pete Smith 49 in four years' time.

"Some of these guys have been curling a long time and this is probably the pinnacle of their career and it's a very disappointing way for them to finish on the Olympic stage," he said.

"There are younger guys back at home and they need to step up and takeover the mantle now, that's how we keep improving.

"I can guarantee that not all these guys will be in Sochi. The time and effort that has gone into this has been incredible and it's not possible to do that long-term, some of these guys have jobs and families."

Murdoch and his rink will be back to reality in Perth next week as they seek to qualify for the World Championships in Cortina a few weeks later.

And Hay admits any retirement talk will be delayed until then.

"We've got to go back to Scotland for the national championships and we want to win that so we can defend our world title," he said.

"This is not a junior team, they are too professional to dwell on this for too long and we'll be ready a week on Friday.

"We came here with only one thing in mind - winning gold - so we are clearly very disappointed. But we can still take something from this season if we can defend our world title."

Follow the Winter Olympics 24/7 on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) and Eurosport HD (Sky 412). British Eurosport channels are streamed online via the Eurosport Player.

More than the Games / Eurosport

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