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New-look Team Laycock aiming for Olympic trials curling berth

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WATCH ABOVE: Steven Laycock's new-look Saskatoon Nutana curling foursome vying for the men's title at the Players’ Championship and an Olympic trials berth. Ryan Flaherty reports – Apr 12, 2017

The Grand Slam of Curling Players’ Championship kicked off Tuesday evening in Toronto and Steven Laycock’s new-look Saskatoon Nutana foursome is one of 12 teams vying for the men’s title.

It’s just the second event for Team Laycock since the addition of Matt Dunstone last month.

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The former Manitoba junior champion is replacing Colton Flasch, who left the team after the Provincial Tankard back in February.

Dunstone made his debut with the squad at the Elite 10 last month.

That event was not part of the Olympic trials qualifying process, but the Players’ Championship is.

With time running out to secure a direct berth to the trials, Dunstone and his new teammates need to gel quickly.

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The biggest adjustment for the newcomer is a position change moving from skip to second.

“It’s going to take some time to get used to it,” Dunstone said.

“I’ve played skip in all 16 years I’ve been curling, so it’s definitely something new for me and I’m up for the challenge.

“I can’t wait to try and become an elite second.”

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Laycock said adding Dunstone as second has be re-invigorating for the team.

“To have someone doing that kind of for the first time in his career on a regular basis, Ii think is part of what we wanted too,” Laycock said.

“We kind of got a little bit stale just doing the same things over time, but doing it with a new player’s actually been a lot of fun.”

Laycock opened the Players’ Championship with a 7-4 win over Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz.

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