Brad Gushue has locked down his new front end for next season and beyond.
Following the team’s play at last weekend’s Victoria, B.C., Curling Classic, tryout players Geoff Walker and Adam Casey were deemed fit to join the team full-time.
“Having gone all the way to Victoria and having played a good event, I feel like they’ve earned the opportunity.”
In Victoria, the Gushue rink made it all the way to the semifinal where it was bounced by Glen Howard. Along the way,, Gushue and company picked up wins over 2010 world champion Kevin Koe and Saskatchewan’s Pat Simmons in the quarter-finals.
Gushue says the road trip to Western Canada was an ideal way to get a better feel for the new curlers.
“When you play an event, you learn a lot more about people and how they will react in certain situations.
“It (provided) a good opportunity to go out and see if we can win a few more events (next season).”
Just as important, it gave Gushue and third Ryan Fry a chance to gauge the chemistry generated by the new foursome.
“We enjoyed being together. We were out there for five days and had a good time,” Gushue says.
"For us to be a top team, we do need to be in the same place, working and practising together. They're on board with that." - Brad Gushue on Geoff Walker and Adam Casey, who will move to Newfoundland to join his rink for the 2011-12 curling season
“They’re very easy to get along with.”
Fry is moving up a spot to third to replace longtime mate Mark Nichols, who is taking time away from the competitive game. Walker, a native of Grand Prairie, Alta., and two-time world junior champ, will become the new second .Casey, a native of Summerside, P.E.I., and former world junior silver medallist, will throw lead stone.
Jamie Danbrook had been the lead for the Gushue rink at the Brier.
One of the requirements Gushue set forth for any potential recruit was making Newfoundland his home.
“For us to be a top team we do need to be in the same place, working and practising together.
“They’re on board with that.”
Gushue expects Walker and Casey to arrive here in June in order to get an early start on training for next season.
“We want to start to work with our sports psychologist, our trainer and to start to get into a routine and get to know each other even better throughout the summer.”