Thursday, June 08, 2006

Schille joins Gushue

After lengthy online rumours, some media confirmation today – courtesy of the Calgary Herald and The Curling News wizard Allen Cameron – that Red Deer's somewhat unheralded Chris Schille, the 2004 Alberta junior champion skip, has joined Brad Gushue's Newfoundland team for their dash to defend the Olympic gold medal at Vancouver 2010.

The story is available via subscription only, but here are a few essential points:

Russ Howard, the veteran skip who joined Gushue at second stone for their '06 Olympic run, will play a handful of events with the squad in the near future – such as November's Continental Cup – but is not in the running for 2010. Factors cited are his age (he's 50) and his desire to qualify for the Brier with his son Stephen, out of New Brunswick.

Mike Adam, the fifth man who originally stepped aside for Howard to join the team, remains as fifth (or is that sixth?) man. Apparently Adam indicated to Gushue that he might not be available for a full run to 2010, which sparked the player search.

• Schille had no idea he was under consideration until Gushue third Mark Nichols approached him at the Players' Championship in April.

• Schille has spoken: I've worked hard for something like this and, hopefully, I can make the best of it. I'm really excited. I wish we were starting right away.

• So has Gushue:
I did a lot of research before I made the decision. I talked to a lot of people about him, and everything was very positive. There were other players that we talked about, but Chris was the easiest fit for the team.

We were looking for somebody younger, closer to our age. We wanted somebody who was eager and would have the intensity and will to win that we all have. It could be real easy for our team to get a little bit complacent, and I think bringing in new blood like Chris and his enthusiasm is not going to allow us to get complacent.

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