The play-downs for the European Championships always come with huge pressure.
We’re there to be shot at because everybody expects us to win and if we don’t then it would be a huge story in curling.
On the other hand our opponents – last weekend it was a straight best of five shoot-out with Hannah Fleming’s team – have nothing to lose.
This year felt like extra pressure because the Euros will be at Braehead. The chance to play a major championship on home ice doesn’t come round very often.
So the relief is huge, as you can imagine.
It’s an event that isn’t easy and isn’t nice but you have to be able to pull through the pressure and perform to get the chance to represent your country and that’s how it should be.
Hannah and her team have come on leaps and bounds in my eyes and there wasn’t a lot between us in each game but we did our job and we all played great. So to finish it a day early by winning 3-0 is all we could have asked for.
From what I’ve heard, lots of tickets have been sold for Braehead already. It starts on Saturday the 19th of November so if you haven’t got one there’s still some left!
It’s going to be a brilliant week and if we could win there’s no doubt it would be a real career highlight.
* Last weekend was Kelly Schafer’s last tournament with us as Anna has been given the green light for Calgary next week, the first grand slam event.
Kelly has been a fantastic addition to the team both on and off the ice and her professionalism, experience and maturity has really helped us.
We can’t thank her enough.
On that note we’re delighted that she is going to come to the Europeans with us as our alternate.
So after having to say good bye today as she flies back to Canada, we’ll be seeing her again in a couple of weeks.
We’ve got three events between now and the Euros and they’ll be really important to get Anna back up to speed.
* The men’s event in Perth was certainly interesting.
Tom Brewster’s team beat David Murdoch’s in the final and that means big brother Glen will be playing alongside me in Glasgow.
If they can put a marker down and do well in the Euros then it will give them a great start in the battle to be going to the Olympics, which will be in the minds of the three top teams from now until selection.
* I’ve seen a lot of things on the ice, having curled almost as long as I can remember.
But I’ve never seen a team chuck a game (at least I don’t think so!)
So there was absolutely no excuse for Nick Kyrgios’s behaviour and he deserves his ban.
I must admit I find it really hard to get my head round the fact that somebody at the top of his sport doesn’t have the drive and determination to give every single game his best.
A sports psychologist can help in a lot of ways, but he or she will have their work cut out to sort Kyrgios out.