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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019
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Ireland's World Cup heroes name squad for Olympic qualifiers on home soil

An 18-strong squad has been announced for next week’s qualifying tournament in Banbridge.

Ireland players celebrating in London last summer.
Ireland players celebrating in London last summer.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IRELAND’S 2018 HOCKEY World Cup heroes are fully locked and loaded for next week’s Tokyo 2020 qualifiers on home soil, with their squad announced this morning.

An 18-player squad — including many of last summer’s silver medal stars in London — and reserves have been named ahead of the the FIH Hockey Series Finals, which will be hosted by Banbridge Hockey Club from 8-16 June.

The tournament is the first stage in the Olympic qualification process for the Irish women, with the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals progressing through to a two-legged qualifier tie in November.

The winner of that on an aggregate score will book their place at the 2020 Games. 

The Green Army face Malaysia first, and then Czech Republic and Singapore in Pool A, with Korea, Scotland, Ukraine and France in Pool B.

With newly-appointed head coach Sean Dancer yet to fully take over the reins as Graham Shaw’s successor, interim head coach Gareth Grundie will continue in the top job for this tournament.

Dancer will be in attendance in Co. Down though, along with Arlene Boyles and David Passmore who complete the coaching team.

“I am happy to announce the squad which will compete in this tournament as the first stage in the Olympic qualifying process,” Grundie said.

squad Source: Irish Hockey Twitter

“Selection has been really difficult which means there has been healthy competition for places throughout the recent training block, which is great to see. We are looking forward to and excited to see what the next couple of weeks bring.”

Excitement is well and truly building, with this the first time Irish supporters will be able to watch them on home soil since their heroics across the water in 2018.

“This is definitely the most competitive irish squad I’ve ever been part of,” Anna O’Flanagan offered.

“We’re representing a much wider group and we’re very fortunate we’re the ones selected to do this. We want to go out and do ourselves, the wider squad and the country proud.”

2018 World Cup Captain Katie Mullan added: “As we take our first step towards Olympic qualification, the 18 players selected for this FIH Series Final represent the 43 Green Army squad members who started this journey.

We’re really excited for this home tournament and hope to play in front of a large Irish crowd. The World Cup was a starting point for us, and we’re keen to continue on this journey and stay in the top 10 in the world.

“This June tournament is an opportunity to show where we are. It’s a busy summer ahead and we’re eager to take it on.”

Ireland squad

1. Bethany Barr
2. Emma Buckley (GK)
3. Lizzie Colvin
4. Nicci Daly
5. Deirdre Duke
6. Megan Frazer
7. Sarah Hawkshaw
8. Hannah Matthews
9. Shirley McCay
10. Ayeisha McFerran (GK)
11. Ali Meeke
12. Katie Mullan
13. Anna O’Flanagan
14. Gillian Pinder
15. Elena Tice
16. Roisin Upton
17. Chloe Watkins
18. Zoe Wilson

Reserves

Chloe Brown
Nicola Evans

Fixtures

  • Ireland v Malaysia — 8 June, 3pm.
  • Ireland v Czech Republic — 9 June, 3pm.
  • Ireland v Singapore — 12 June, 2pm.

Tickets for the tournament can be bought here.

Gavan Casey is joined by Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell for a review of the 2018/19 season, and cast an eye forward to next year and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.:


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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