Hockey internationalist Michael Bremner cheered on Team Scotland from a capacity stadium at the last Commonwealth Games and now can’t wait to entertain a home crowd from the pitch at Glasgow 2014.
The 21-year-old was at the Delhi 2010 Games as one of 28 athletes on the inaugural Achieve programme – providing emerging talent with the chance to sample Commonwealth competition up close and personal.
“Achieve was absolutely brilliant,” said Bremner, from Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire. “Getting to go to Delhi was massive; something I would probably never get to do outside of the sport. The hockey was at one of the biggest stadiums I’ve ever seen for hockey, with about 20,000 seats. It was pretty spectacular.
“And we were with the swimmers and got to see Robbie Renwick win his gold medal. Singing the national anthem, it was something I hadn’t associated with the Commonwealth Games until then, to see everyone singing Flower of Scotland was brilliant.
“Being on the Achieve programme reinforced the motivation that I want to be at Glasgow 2014. To have been that close to the action in Delhi, but not competing, made me want to train as hard as I could to get there now.
“And gaining the experience of a multi-sport games means now I have a small edge on the other guys, as maybe I won’t be as star struck.”
Bremner could be considered the programme’s pin up, having gone on to become a permanent fixture in the Scotland senior line-up and compete for Team GB at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.
Not even a freak injury which forced him out of the EuroHockey Championships over the summer has dampened the defender-come-midfielder’s desire to compete next summer.
He added: “I basically ran into a team-mate in a warm up and stretched ligaments in the sole of my foot. It’s an impact injury - quite common in rugby my physio was telling me - and I was out for eight weeks, wearing a plastic boot which meant I couldn’t really do anything until it healed.
“For the last two years or so I’ve been consistently starting for Scotland, but my focus now is to get back in the squad and then work towards making Team Scotland for Glasgow. To be able to play against some of the top sides in the world in front of a home crowd will be brilliant. I have heard the tickets have sold really well.”
For Bremner, hockey is very much a family affair, his dad and brother also members of the dominant domestic club Glynhill Kelburne, where he has played since the age of ten.
When not playing hockey for club or country, Bremner can be mostly found at the Glasgow School of Art where he is a third year Communication Design student, ably supported by a sports scholarship from Winning Students.
“The next target for me is to make the team for Glasgow 2014 then the year after that it’s my final year of studies and we have our degree show,” explained Bremner.
“That’s the big year where you have to show your best work. After that I just need to see where I am. I would love to go to an Olympic Games and I’d love to play hockey abroad.”
Before then, the outdoor domestic season continues, and Scotland will be in Belgium for festive friendlies in preparation for the EuroHockey Indoor Championship II in Bern, Switzerland from 17-19 January, 2014.
You can follow Michael on Twitter @MBREMMY
Photo Credit: Scottish Hockey