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Dean Robertson appointed team manager for European Nations Cup

15th January 2013

Former European Tour winner Dean Robertson will lead a Scotland Men's selection for the first time when he acts as team manager at The European Nations Cup in March.

The event, formerly known as The Sherry Cup, takes place in Sotogrande, Malaga from 13 – 16 March with Robertson to accompany the Scots after his selection by the Scottish Golf Union and backing from the University of Stirling, where he is Performance Golf Coach.

The Scots will send a four-strong team, comprising of SGU Men's Performance Squad members Jack McDonald of Kilmarnock (Barsssie), Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie), James White (Lundin) and Kilmacolm's Matthew Clark, with the quartet aiming to emulate the success of countrymen Scott Henry, Callum Macaulay, Wallace Booth and Keir McNicoll who triumphed in the event in 2008.

Mathew Clark (image courtesy SGU)

Robertson has worked closely with McDonald and Robertson in recent years in his role at the University, while White is also a graduate of Stirling's successful golf scholarship programme.

The quartet contributed to Scotland's  Home Internationals victory at Glasgow Golf Club's Gailes Links last August, with Robertson and Clark going on to represent Scotland in the World Amateur Team Championship in Turkey.

Robertson, who won the 1993 Scottish Amateur Championship and was crowned the 1992 and 1993 Scottish Golfer of the Year before going on to win the 1999 Italian Open as a professional, is looking forward to the challenge of leading the team and believes his selection reflects the ongoing work between the SGU and the University of Stirling.

“It's a new challenge for me and hopefully my experience can rub off on the guys. If we adopt the right mindset and attitude then we can do very well,” said the 42-year-old.

“I'm excited about it. It shows the strong relationships between the SGU and the University of Stirling so it's very positive for Scottish Golf, most definitely.

“We have a strong team and Jack will be coming into the event with the experience of playing in America with the University while Graeme and James will have competed in Australia and South Africa as part of the SGU's winter performance programme.

“Matt is more of a career amateur, working as a senior banking manager, and I intend to meet and work with him in the run-up to the event. It's a big year for all the guys, especially with a Walker Cup at the end of it, so they will all want to hit the ground running.”

As well as Scotland's success in the team competition in 2008, Andrew McArthur and Richie Ramsay finished joint-second in the individual standings in 2005. Previous individual winners include Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari and Shane Lowry to prove the event is a breeding ground for future professional stars.

“I've also got history with The Sherry Cup as it was then,” adds Robertson. “I played in it a couple of times with the likes of Stephen Gallacher, Raymond Russell and Gordon Sherry. We were looked after by Billy Sim from the North East, who was the course superintendent at San Roque.

“It's a while since I've been there but I've played the course at Sotogrande a number of times so have good course knowledge. I can't wait to get out there.”

Stephen Docherty, SGU Non-Executive Performance Director, believes working with Robertson, as well as the likes of ex-Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart, a member of the SGU Performance Committee, is increasingly important to help the nation's top amateurs fulfil their potential.

He said: “Modern day golf the way it is, and Scotland being a small nation, we need to ensure guys like Dean and Andrew, both of whom have played at the top level, are more involved in a number of capacities – this event being one of them.

“Historically, a head coach would attend this event with the team, but Ian Rae, National Coach, is with other members of the squad in South Africa at the time.

“Dean has a range of skills and experience which means he is an ideal person to support our players at this event.”

Scotland team for The European Nations Cup

Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm, 31)

Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie, 19)

Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie, 24)

James White (Lundin, 24)

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