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Fixtures for Ireland's Olympic qualifying bid in Dublin this summer announced

Graham Shaw’s side will begin their Tokyo 2020 qualification campaign against Malaysia in June.

IRELAND’S PATH TO the Tokyo Olympics has been set in stone upon confirmation from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) of the composition of pools and fixtures for this summer’s qualifying tournament in Dublin.

Graham Shaw’s side will have home advantage in June as they bid to take the first step on the qualifying road to the 2020 Games and build on last summer’s historic World Cup silver medal.

Ireland v Spain - Vitality Women's Hockey World Cup - Semi Final - Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre Ireland will be bidding for more success this summer. Steven Paston Steven Paston

Ireland, the highest ranked side in the tournament, will open their FIH Series Finals campaign against Malaysia on 8 June before facing Czech Republic and Singapore in further Group A games on 9 and 11 June.

From there, the host nation will hope to advance through to the semi-finals and eventually the tournament final, with the top two sides guaranteed a place in an Olympic qualifying tie later in 2019. 

Group B comprises of Korea, Scotland, Ukraine and France.

There is, however, uncertainty surrounding the venue for the eight-team tournament, with concerns over whether the National Stadium at Belfield will be ready in time to stage the games. 

UCD announced before Christmas that a new state-of-the-art pitch would be installed on campus in anticipation of hosting international fixtures again from this summer onwards, but work — set to take 8-10 weeks — is not due to commence until April. 

Work has also yet to begin on the new facility at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, with Hockey Ireland due to confirm the tournament venue within the next two weeks.

In the meantime, Shaw’s side will continue preparations for a big summer with an uncapped series against Great Britain at Bisham Abbey in March before a four-game series against Canada in Dublin in May. 

FIH Series Finals fixtures, Dublin 2019:

8 June:

  • Korea v Ukraine, 11am
  • Scotland v France, 1pm
  • Ireland v Malaysia, 3pm
  • Czech Republic v Singapore, 5pm

9 June: 

  • Ukraine v France, 11am
  • Scotland v Korea, 1pm
  • Czech Republic v Ireland, 3pm
  • Malaysia v Singapore, 5pm

11 June:

  • Korea v France, 12pm
  • Ukraine v Scotland, 2pm
  • Malaysia v Czech Republic, 4pm
  • Ireland v Singapore, 6pm

13 June:

  • Crossover game: 2nd Pool A v 3rd Pool B, 3.45pm
  • Crossover game: 2nd Pool B v 3rd Pool A, 6pm

15 June:

  • Semi-final 1, 1.15pm
  • Semi-final 2, 3.30pm

16 June:

  • Final, 3.30pm.

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