Greg talks about the honour of being England Captain
Following on from our very own Greg Harlow being announced as the new England captain, we caught up with him to chat about the role as he gets ready to make his debut at Chelmsford in the BIIBC Mens Internationals 2019 between 14th and 16th March 2019…
How do you feel about walking out as England captain?
Really excited. It is such an honour to be asked and to walk out as captain will be an incredible feeling and a real personal achievement. Tony Horobin is the manager and he, together with five England selectors, decide on who the captain is. Andy Thomson retired last year so I am taking over from him, but he is now a selector for the England team, which is wonderful. I have played every year in the International Series after first being selected in 1993, so now being captain feels really special.
Has Andy given you any advice?
There has only been two captains since I have been in the team, with both Tony Allcock and Andy Thomson in the role for 14 years each. Obviously I know Andy really well and we have had a couple of chats about what the role involves.
How many caps have you got?
You can get three caps for competing over the three days and I have 78 caps currently. David Bryant has 81, so I should be able to match this when I compete in the 2019 series and gain three caps. I’m not sure I will beat Andy Thomson’s 114 caps though!
What does your role involve?
Well it is a playing role, so I will be playing in the event. Tony and the selectors chose the 24 people playing for England, but my job is to give a team speech before the match, so I need to make sure it is rousing and gets the team motivated! I may also be asked for advice on any situation that arises, and I get to award my good friend Nick Brett with his 50th cap before the game.
Can you tell us more about the event?
It is England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland battling it out in the International Series. We have a 24 man team for England and will be competing with Ireland on Thursday, Wales on Friday and Scotland on Saturday. There is six rinks of four playing, and the winner is based on the overall score achieved, so it is very much a team effort… after all there is no I in team!
What is the atmosphere like?
It is really unique and is pretty much a sell-out, with around 500 spectators. It isn’t quiet, like some other events when play is on, and people are just cheering on their team! The venue always changes and the crowd is wonderful. In fact, a group of 15 Essex lads always comes and cheers us on every year. Even though this year it is being held on their doorstep they are still getting a hotel, which says it all about the atmosphere!
What do you wear?
A full kit is supplied and we normally wear all white, but this year we are wearing black trousers for the first time with a white top. I just can’t wait for the team to come together and for play to commence.
Good luck Greg and to all the teams competing. The BIWIBC Women's International Series starts on Friday 8th March, the British Isles Championships on Monday 11th March and the BIIBC Men's International Series on Thursday 14th March.