With James Byrne and David Law now in the professional ranks and the likes of Michael Stewart, Ross Kellett, Philip McLean and James White all preparing for various qualifying schools, a fresh 10-man team has been selected for the trip which will conclude with a Test match against the Emirates Golf Federation.
Kirkhill’s Paul Shields is the only member of last year’s training squad involved again and will be joined in a youthful pool of players led by Daniel Kay, runner-up in the Scottish Amateur Championship, and Greig Marchbank, the winner of this season’s boys’ order of merit.
Ewan Scott, Bradley Neil, Conor O’Neil, Anthony Blaney and Fraser McKenna have also been called up while Fife duo Brian Soutar, who won the Scottish Champion of Champions at the start of the year, and Scott Crichton, the winner of July’s Cameron Corbett Vase, make up the squad.
The month-long training trip is being sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management as well as the Yas Links club and the Centro Yas Island Hotel.
Alex Salmond, the golf-obsessed First Minister who is on business in the Gulf this week, gave his support to the growing relationship between Scotland and the UAE.
He said: “This is another example of how we are strengthening ties between Scotland and the UAE, exporting our rich heritage of golf to those parts of the world where interest in the sport will certainly generate valuable golf and tourism links between us. I look forward to watching our relationship grow.”
SGU elite squad Scott Crichton (Aberdour), Daniel Kay (Dunbar), Fraser McKenna (Balmore), Conor O’Neil (Pollok), Brian Soutar (Leven GS), P Shields (Kirkhill), Anthony Blaney (Liberton), Greig Marchbank (Dumfries & County), Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie), Ewan Scott (St Andrews)