Curling: David Murdoch eyes success at the curling world championships

David Murdoch eyes the world champs
David Murdoch eyes the world champs

David Murdoch is full of confidence as he prepares to lead his Scotland team into the men's curling world championships in Canada next month.

And one look at Murdoch's track record at the event shows that self-belief is well-placed.

This will be the 38-year-old's eighth world championships and he has failed to pick up a medal at just two of those - winning the title in 2006 and 2009, a silver medal in 2005 and 2008 and bronzes in 2010 and 2013.

So his rink of Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow head to Edmonton with all the experience you could ask for.

"I've got two world titles, two silver medals and two bronze, and the guys have been in the final a couple of times as well," Murdoch told BBC Scotland.

"We had a bronze medal a few years ago, so the pedigree is there. We know about what it takes to win, we know what the experience is like, the pressures, and it's more a case of us trusting our technique and our game plan."

Team Murdoch have had a mixed season but have found form at the right time, winning the Scottish Championships last month in Perth to seal their place at the worlds.

"That's always been our goal for the season, to peak at the right time, and we certainly did that with winning the Scottish Championships," Murdoch added. "So now we've had a great few weeks of training and we're ready to go to Canada."

Team Murdoch ready for Canada
Team Murdoch are ready for the world championships in Edmonton, Canada

Murdoch had to watch Tom Brewster's rival rink represent Scotland at the last world championships and last year's home European Championships. He admits missing out on those events gave him added incentive this year - as did the thought of competing at the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, in February.

Having won a silver medal at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, making it to South Korea is a huge target.

A top seven finish at the worlds will secure Great Britain a men's quota place for PyeongChang, and a medal in Canada will strengthen Murdoch's rink's case for Olympic selection.

"We've always had the hunger and the drive and we've always had the Olympics as the goal at the end, that's still the end goal," Murdoch said.

"We've got a lot of work to do to achieve that. A lot of things go hand in hand in that week, but ultimately it's about doing well and getting a medal at the worlds. For us there's a lot of good challenges and I think that's what motivates you."

Murdoch is also relishing a return to Canada and the spotlight that comes with competing in a country where curling is big news. Team Murdoch regularly play there during the season, with events often shown live on TV.

"It's in Canada so it'll be huge crowds and a massive arena," he said. "It's quite strange for us coming home where nobody knows us, but out there everyone knows us. It's such a popular sport and it's starting to get a really big following over there, so it's an exciting place to go and compete."

Ross Paterson joins Team Murdoch as an alternate for the championships
Ross Paterson joins Team Murdoch as an alternate for the championships

Joining Team Murdoch for these championships is someone who would normally be lining up for a rival rink. Ross Paterson usually plays second as part of Team Brewster, but he has been poached as fifth alternate for Murdoch's rink.

"We're part of British Curling first and foremost." Paterson told BBC Scotland. "Last year when we (Team Brewster) qualified we asked Scott (Andrews) to come with us as fifth man. I've played with David in the past and we see each other in the gym during the week, during practice, so it's not a problem fitting in. I'm looking forward to it.

"This is my first major championship as a fifth man, I was fifth man for the university games back in 2007 and I didn't play then, so I've kind of got an idea of what you're doing. I've still got an important job to do in terms of supporting the team and if the situation arises where I do play then I have to be ready, so it's a slightly different focus."

The men's world curling championships take place between 1 April and 9 April.

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