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Dublin: 13°C Monday 14 June 2021

Harte a big loss through injury as Ireland gear up for crucial Euro Championships

Head coach Alexander Cox has named his squad for next month’s tournament in Belgium.

IRELAND WILL HAVE to contend with the loss of captain and talismanic goalkeeper David Harte for next month’s crucial Euro Hockey Championships, as the Green Machine’s bid to reach Tokyo 2020 steps up a gear.

Head coach Alexander Cox has today named an 18-man squad for the tournament in Belgium, but two-time World Goalkeeper of the Year Harte is not part of the panel due to injury. 

Final Edit.00_02_11_06.Still005 Harte is a big loss through injury. Source: The42/Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

Cox has made a number of changes from last month’s FIH Final Series campaign in France, where Ireland booked their place in a two-legged Olympic qualifying tie later this year.

Harte and defender Luke Madeley have been ruled out through injury, while both Matthew Nelson and Matthew Bell are named as reserves, with Tim Cross, Stuart Loughrey, Rio Olympian Kirk Shimmins and Jeremy Duncan drafted back in.

The absence of Harte opens the door for either Mark Ingram or Jamie Carr between the posts, with Cox saying ‘there are still some decisions to be made around our goalkeepers for Europeans.’

Ireland will face Netherlands, Germany and Scotland in Pool B in Antwerp, with vital world ranking points at stake as Cox’s side aim to secure home advantage in the Tokyo 2020 qualifier in late October/early November.

Ireland open their European campaign against defending champions Netherlands on Saturday 17 August, before further outings against Scotland [18 August] and Germany [20 August].

In preparation, Ireland will play Spain, England and Malaysia in a four nations tournament.

“I’m content that this squad is, at this moment, our best squad and I expect we will do well in the coming weeks,” Cox commented.

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“The upcoming Four Nations tournament will be a good opportunity to prepare ourselves in the best possible way for European Championships.”

Ireland squad:

James Carr, Mark Ingram, Jonathan Bell, Lee Cole, John Jackson, Stuart Loughrey, Paul Gleghorne, Conor Harte, Tim Cross, Daragh Walsh, Shane O’Donoghue, Stephen Cole,  Kirk Shimmins, Michael Robson, Ben Walker, Jeremy Duncan, Eugene Magee, Sean Murray. 

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Ryan Bailey

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