The reigning provincial men's curling champions and 2023 Brier runners-up, Team Dunstone, is looking to continue a strong 2023-24 season.
The team, which also won the 2022 Dekalb Superspiel, is heading into its second season together and hit the ice for the first time on Wednesday.
Having secured a spot in the 2024 Brier, Skip, Matt Dunstone, says that's where the team's focus will be this year.
"A lot of practice, a lot of travel. A lot of curling too. We're going to play a little bit less this year. We played a lot last year just to get a feel, it was a new team, so we wanted to get a feel for what we had," he said. "We like what we have here so we're going to play a little less, practice a little bit more and hopefully win one more game at the Brier this time around."
Coming off such a successful first season, Dunstone was asked if the team was feeling any pressure to meet expectations this time around.
"Yeah, I mean there was high expectations of us last year. All of us had come from fairly successful teams, so there was that pressure from the get-go. I think there's more excitement to just be able to go out and do it again. We had some success last season but it's important not to take that for granted just because there's so many good teams out there, it's easy to get knocked off the top pretty quick. So, just keep that foot on the gas and continue to push and try and get better, I think that's something that's very important for us."
The team gathered at Keystone Kat in Altona on Tuesday for a meet and greet event with fans hosted by their sponsor, Kioti.
Dunstone says the energy and excitement from these events is something the team takes with it throughout the season.
"You don't really realize how many people are cheering for you, pulling for you when you're out curling throughout the season. To hear stories of other people when they come up to you and say, 'we were watching you in this game and we got a big family gathering to come and watch your guys'. That stuff is really cool for us because that's stuff we don't realize when we are out there competing."
Brian Enns, owner of Keystone Kat, says the business has been a Kioti dealer for 4 fours.
"It got to be a really good fit to complement our recreation side of our business," he said. "The Kioti's are a year-round selling product, and it offers some stability. It's a different genre for us to work in and, so far so good."
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