Women’s International Team Announced for FIH Series Final

Hockey Ireland Announce Women’s Senior International Team for FIH World Series in June.
The Irish Women’s Hockey squad was unveiled early this morning for the upcoming FIH World Series in Banbridge, which gets underway on June 8th. This tournament is the first stage in the Olympic qualification process for the Irish women, with the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals securing a place in qualification events for Tokyo 2020, which will be held later this year. It is also the first time the public will be able to see them play at home since their World Cup silver medal last summer.

The Green Army will take on Czech Republic, Malaysia and Singapore in Pool A, with Korea, Scotland, Ukraine and France in Pool B. The squad selection is as follows:

Name

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

 

Reserve. Chloe Brown

Reserve. Nicola Evans

 

Gareth Grundie, who has been interim Head Coach in recent weeks, will continue in the Head Coach position until the culmination of the series finals in Banbridge with Sean Dancer in attendance, as well as Arlene Boyles and David Passmore who complete the coaching team. Speaking on the squad selection, Gareth Grundie said “I am happy to announce the squad which will compete in this tournament as the first stage in the Olympic qualifying process. 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.”

Commenting on the selection, Anna O’Flanagan, one of Ireland’s most prolific goal scorers, said “this is definitely the most competitive irish squad I’ve ever been part of. 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 told us “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.”

To find further information on the FIH Series Final tournament in Banbridge this June, or purchase tickets, please see: www.hockey.ie/buy-tickets/

Further Information
FIH Series Finals
The FIH Series Finals include some of the best teams in the world and are one of the roads to reach the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Indeed, the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals will secure a place in the Qualification Events for the next Olympic Games which will be held in October and November 2019. Banbridge, (Women) 8th – 16th June 2019, match schedule available here.

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President’s Newsletter May 2019

Since the start of 2019 events have been moving on at a fast pace. While the EYHL was on a winter break during December and January, the National Indoor finals took place on January 27th at the excellent Antrim Forum facility where the Women’s Trophy was won by Railway Union and the Men’s Trophy by Three Rock Rovers. My thanks to Vice President Ann Rosa who presented the trophies on my behalf while I was laid up following knee surgery. Both Railway Union and Three Rock Rovers will represent Ireland in next years European Indoor Championships.

The All Ireland Schoolboys Championship was won this year by Newtown School, Waterford for the first time in their history. The 2109 Kate Russell was held this year in St Andrews College, Booterstown, Dublin on March 21 & 22 and the trophy was won by Crescent Comprehensive, Limerick. The John Waring was held this year at Friends School, Lisburn on April 10 and here the winners were Banbridge Academy. On the following day the hockey bandwagon moved on to Dangan Sports Facilities NUIG where the 2019 June Smith Competition was held and this was won by Mount Anville, Dublin.

The weekend of April 13 & 14 saw the Finals of various competitions taking place at Pembroke Wanderers and Three Rock Rovers. This year we were unable to play our Finals at UCD as the pitch is being relayed. On Saturday the 13th in the Irish Hockey Challenge the Women of Dromore beat Clonmel by 1-0 in a very closely contested game and in the Men’s Ballynahinch just got the better of Limerick in a high scoring game on a score line of 4-3. In the Irish Hockey Trophy (Women) Cork C of I came from being 2 goals down to Greenfields to rally in the second half and recorded a comprehensive 4-2 win. On Sunday 14th in TRR, Waterford won their first National title since 1922. They beat NICS by 3-1. This victory was made all the sweeter when you take into consideration that the club almost went out of existence 13 years ago. Only for the dedication of some of the older members in the club Waterford would not have been here today, so congratulations to those brave people who persevered. In the Irish Junior Cup (Women) UCD got the better of the holders Railway Union in a very tight game in which they came out on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline. In the Men’s Irish Junior Cup Three Rock Rovers had a comprehensive win over Instonians, winning by 4-1. This trophy has eluded TRR for the past 5 years and in fact is the first time they have won it since 1998.

April 27 & 28 saw the EYHL 2 Playoffs weekend which was held at Corinthians in Whitechurch Park., where there was a festive atmosphere with a BBQ on the go all weekend along with teas, coffee, sandwiches and homemade cakes available for the large numbers of spectators who turned up for the matches. Following two very closely fought Semi Finals on a windy Saturday UCD and Corinthians came through on the Men’s side while on the Women’s side it was also very close with Queens University and Catholic Institute through to the Final on Sunday. First up on Sunday was the Men’s Final where Corinthians came from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw and so went to the dreaded Penalty Shootout where Corinthians won on a score line of 3-2, thereby earning their place in the EYHL next season. Next up were the Women and in yet another very tight game Catholic Institute fought back to 3-3 against Queens University to send the game to another Shootout where Catholic Institute were the victorious team also on a score line of 3-2. So, EYHL for Catholic Institute also next season.

The weekend of May 4 & 5 was the EY Champions Trophy, played at Banbridge Hockey Club and also the 9th place play offs for next seasons league.
On the Women’s side we saw Muckross retain their EYHL spot with a narrow victory over Queens University on Sunday morning in Banbridge in a Shoot- Out. Also on Sunday, this time at Corinthians, Whitechurch Park, UCD got the better of Cork C of I following a high scoring game where it finished at 4-4 and in the ensuing Shoot -Out, UCD came out on top by 3–2 and so earned their spot in the EYHL league for next season.

In the Champions Trophy on Saturday Pegasus overcame Cork Harlequins by two goals to one in the first women’s semi final and Loreto beat UCD also by two goals to one in the second semi final to set up a Sunday Final between Pegasus and Loreto. Both these teams finished first and second in the League and we were sure of a tight battle in the final. As predicted, it was a very closely contested game and was no surprise when we had to go to another Shoot Out after the game finished 1-1 in normal time. Following the Shoot Out Pegasus came out on top on a score of 4-2 and so secured the double.

On the Men’s side Lisnagarvey had a comprehensive 6-0 win over Glenanne on Saturday while Three Rock Rovers also had a comfortable win over Banbridge on a scorline of 4-2. So, just as in the Women’s league the winners of the League, Lisnagarvey were up against second placed Three Rock Rovers in the Final on Sunday. This turned out to be a cracking game with Three Rock Rovers getting the better of Lisnagarvey with a 2-0 victory and so take the EY Champions Trophy for the third season in a row.

On May 11 for the second weekend in a row Lisnagarvey played Three Rock Rovers, this time in the Irish Senior Cup Final. This is the oldest Hockey Cup in the world, dating back to 1894. This game was played this year in Grange Road due to the no availability of UCD and yet again it was a very closely contested affair with TRR winning by the narrowest of margins on a 1-0 scoreline and so retain the trophy. TRR have now won this trophy 12 times in total.

In the Women’s Cup Final Loreto played Cork Harlequins also at Grange Road. Both teams were short some of their regular international players for this game. Loreto were the dominant team in the first half and led by 2-0 but in the second half Harlequins came back strongly to draw level at 2-2 and sent the game to Shoot-Outs. Harlequins won out on the shoot-outs on a scoreline of 2-1. This is only the second time in their history that they have lifted the Irish Senior Cup, the first time being in 2000.

And so on to the final domestic Competition for the 2018/19 season. We headed off to Cork for the Junior Interprovincials on the weekend of 18/19 May. This year the tournament was held in Cork Harlequins, up on the hill near the airport where the weather can be wet, cold and windy even in summer. However, Harlequins were excellent in all arrangements, even to the extent of getting the weather right, it was a beautiful sunny weekend. The hockey as you can imagine was very competitive both in the Women’s and Men’s sides of the tournament with the Munster Ladies coming out on top with a 100% record with 3 wins over the weekend. But in the Men’s side it all came down to the last game of the tournament with Ulster needing to beat Leinster and getting the required number of goals to overhaul Munster. However, they failed to do so and Munster completed the double on goal difference by 1 goal.

Overall, it was a very successful season on the domestic front, so now onto the Internationals until September when the 2019/20 will start again.

Hockey Ireland welcomes two new Honorary Life Members

Congratulations to Ivy Dennis and Daphne Hall who became the two newest Honorary Life Members of Hockey Ireland at the 2019 AGM.

Men’s Senior International Test Match. Sunday May26th

Ireland 2 (S O’Donoghue, L Madeley) USA 0

Penalty corner goals from Shane O’Donoghue and Luke Madeley saw Ireland’s men complete a 2-0 win over USA at Serpentine Avenue, adding to Friday’s 5-0 success over the same opposition.

The wins give Ireland a boost as they begin their preparations in earnest for the FIH Series Finals in Le Touquet, France in June, a vital step on the road to potentially qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Green Machine started well and hit the front inside the first three minutes following a series of penalty corners, O’Donoghue hitting the net for 1-0.

They continued to carry the greater threat through the first quarter with Matthew Nelson causing problems and Matthew Bell drew a big stop from goalkeeper Jonathan Klages.

The US, for their part, went close but Mark Ingram got out well to make good stops from Deegan, Huisman and Mike Barminski to keep Ireland’s lead in tact.

A couple more Irish corners went incomplete early in the second quarter while Michael Robson’s rising shot was batted away by Klages.

Madeley made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute with a high drag-flick to give a bit more comfort on the scoreboard and they carried this advantage to the big break after Patrick Harris’s dangerous shot was cleared by Ingram.

The second half was scrappier with both sides trying out new pressing techniques. Ireland were making nice circle entries and getting to the baseline but they could not back that up with the killer touch in front of goal.

USA, meanwhile, had the clearer openings when Huisman pounced on a mistake but Jamie Carr – on as a half-time sub – raced off his line to charge down the shot before Kei Kaeppler whipped the rebound over the bar.

Kai de Jager was standing in as lead coach for the weekend due to head coach Alexander Cox’s involvement with SV Kampong in the Dutch national final.

Speaking afterwards, de Jager said he was content with what his side worked on over the course of the series against the US.

“We are really happy about some things, young guys stepping up like Benny Walker; we got a lot of circle entries in the positions we wanted them to be,” he said.

“Pressing wise, we still need to make some steps because if you play a high zonal format, it can be difficult to get it right the first time you use it.

“I’m happy with the goalkeeping work and our deep defence which is something we pride ourselves on. USA is a good opponent who are going to the FIH Series as well and we scored seven with two clean sheets There’s not much more you can ask for, maybe score a few more goals.”

Next on the Irish men’s agenda is a two-game series against France in Lisnagarvey on June 4 and 6 before travelling to Le Touquet where their FIH Series Finals begin on June 15.

Ireland: M Ingram, J Jackson, J Bell, M Nelson, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B Walker, D Walsh, C Harte, L Cole, S Cole

Subs: M Robson, P Gleghorne, N Glassey, M Bell, L Madeley, J Carr

USA: J Klages, A Montilla, P Harris, S Harris, A Dhadwal, T Barratt, K Kaeppler, P Singh, J Orozco, D Huisman, M Gandhi

Subs: M Barminski, A Miller, C de Angelis, W Holt, S Cicchi, J Croonenberghs

Impressive Start to Summer Internationals for Senior Men

Ireland 5 (S O’Donoghue, M Nelson, C Harte, B Walker, E Magee) USA 0.

The summer of International hockey got off to a great start at Serpentine Avenue on Friday evening as an impressive Ireland team overcame the USA 5 -0 in the 1st of a 2-match series.

In ideal conditions the opening exchanges were evenly matched with neither side asserting early dominance. Ireland got on the scoresheet in the 13th minute however through a Shane O’Donoghue backhand shot from an acute angle. In quarter 2, not long after missing a good chance, Matthew Nelson was able to convert Ireland’s second goal via a neat low backhand deflection in 19th minute. Good interplay between John Jackson and Eugene Magee down the right flank saw Magee deliver the pinpoint cross for Nelson to finish.

The USA had several chances and good passages of play through the first half with the impressive Pat Harris pulling a lot of their strings in the centre of midfield.

In the 3rd quarter after the US had missed a gilt-edged goal chance Ireland unleashed one of their increasingly fast counter attacks. After a powerful 40 metre dribble by Matthew Nelson the ball fell to Sean Murray and his backhand shot was looping goalwards, Conor Harte was on hand on the back post to deflect it over the line for 3-0. Ben Walker then made it 4 – 0 in the 3rd quarter after a passage of fast passes resulted in him finding enough room in the US circle to get his low backhand shot away.

Eugene Magee scored Ireland’s fifth goal shooting high into the net after receiving a baseline pass. At this stage the game was a very open affair with the USA threatening to get on their scoresheet. Jamie Carr and the Irish defenders were up to the challenge to make key interventions when called upon. Aki Kaeppelar after intricate stick skills was able to produce a deflected chance for the US which Carr dealt with. Luke Madeley had a goal line save at this point from a straight drag flick from a USA penalty corner.

The Irish defence were able to keep a clean sheet with Paul Gleghorne putting his body on the line of a goal bound shot in the last 30 seconds. Pat Harris was the standout player for the USA and Ireland had many strong performances with Eugene Magee again displaying the attacking ability that has helped earn him 278 caps so far for the Green Machine. But it was an impressive team performance from Ireland with solid defensive structure and strong counter attacking skill and intensity further up the pitch.

The evening was capped off in a very enjoyable manner with a large number of young players being treated to a skills clinic on the pitch with the entire Ireland team and coaches after the match. This experience will live for a long time with the many youngsters who participated, and many thanks must go to the Ireland team and management for facilitating this.

The Irish Senior Men’s next match will take place on Sunday May 26th at 12 noon v USA at Pembroke Wanderers HC.

These matches are excellent preparation for the Men’s FIH Series Finals in Le Touquet coming up in June. In the meantime the Men’s team will also take on France on June 4th and 6th in Lisnagarvey. There will also be an open training session for media and fans to attend on Friday the 31st of May in Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, from 16:00 to 17:30.

To find further information on the FIH Series Final tournament in Le Touquet this June, or purchase tickets, please see: //ticketingfihseriesfinal.fr/en/

Ireland; Carr J (GK), Jackson J, Bell J, Bell M, Madeley L, Nelson M, Magee E, Glassey N, O’Donoghue S, Murray S, Robson M, Walker B, Walsh D, Gleghorne P, Harte C, Cole L, Ingram M (GK), Cole S.

Team Manager: Kidd G

Stand-In Manager: Kelly R

Assistant Coach: Weusthof R

Assistant Coach: de Jager K

Physiotherapist: McCallion C

USA; Klages J (GK), Barminski M, Sundeen T, Harris P, Miller A, Montilla A, Holt W, Dhadwal A (C), Barratt T, Kaeppler K, De Angelis C, Harris S, Singh P, Cicchi S, Orozco J, Kaeppeler A, Huisman D, Gandhi M, Wisselink D(GK).

Team Manager: Mazzalupi H

Head Coach: Wiese R

Assistant Coach: Wijzenbeek P

Physiotherapist: van Ark H

Match Officials

Rob Argent

Malcolm Coombes

Technical Officials

David Acheson

Erica Porter

David Wolfe

Park Developments to Fund Irish Women’s Hockey Bursary Scheme

Dublin, 20th May 2019: Park Developments, one of Ireland’s leading property development groups has announced investment in Irish Women’s Hockey over the next four years. Recently appointed Irish Women’s Head Coach Sean Dancer along with World Cup medallists Anna O’Flanagan, Roisin Upton and goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran were at Park Developments’ landmark office development, The Reflector Building to announce the investment that will be ring fenced for direct player support.

The Park Developments Irish Women’s Hockey Bursary will see an initial group of 23 players supported between now and the conclusion of the qualification period for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in December. The funding is guaranteed for four years and will supplement support provided to the Irish Women’s Hockey Team by Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland.

Silver medallists at the 2018 World Cup last summer, the Irish Women’s Hockey Team’s first attempt at qualification gets underway on 8th June at an FIH Series Tournament in Banbridge. Ireland must reach the final of the Banbridge tournament to earn a place at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament later this year.

Speaking at the announcement Sales & Marketing Manager at Park Developments, Jilly Cotter said: “As a property development business, we aim to enrich the lives of future generations. Like so many, we at Park Developments were inspired by the performance of the Irish Women’s team at the World Cup last summer. We wanted to support the on-going development of the team and look to do so in an innovative way that could begin the process of transforming the supports available to Irish Women hockey players. We are delighted that the Park Developments Irish Women’s Hockey Bursary Scheme is now a reality and hope it will have a positive impact on the current squad on their journey to Olympic qualification.”

Irish Women’s Head Coach, Sean Dancer said “The Park Developments Irish Player Bursary Scheme is a very welcome start to my tenure as Irish Women’s Head Coach and its importance to the development of our programme cannot be underestimated. We go into camp on Thursday this week to prepare for the FIH Series in Banbridge, the beginning of an intensive six-month training and competition schedule as we try to build on the incredible performance last summer and do what no Irish women’s team has done before and secure Olympic qualification. Some of the other team’s looking to secure Olympic qualification have full time programmes. The Park Developments Player Bursary Scheme will go some way to providing Ireland’s top hockey players with some additional financial support given the likely impact on their work commitments representing their country on the world stage will have.”

World Cup Medallist Anna O’Flanagan said: “Last summer’s World Cup was definitely the highlight of my playing career to date. Having played for Ireland on 180 occasions, it was the culmination of years of training and competitive experience balanced with study, professional qualification and full-time employment. The reality is that competing with the world’s best requires a level of commitment that makes full time employment virtually impossible. The Park Developments Player Bursary is therefore a very welcome support in addition to the funding Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland have provided over the years to us as a team and will facilitate more training time that is a necessity to give ourselves the best chance of securing our goal of qualifying for and competing at the Olympic Games.”

Senior Men Squad Announcement for FIH Series 2019

The Senior Irish Men’s Hockey squad was unveiled early this morning for the upcoming FIH World Series in Le Touquet, France, which gets underway on June 15th. This tournament is the first stage in the Olympic qualification process for the Irish men, with the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals securing a place in qualification events for Tokyo 2020, which will be held later this year.

The Green Machine will take on Egypt, Scotland and Singapore in Pool A, with France, Korea, Ukraine and Chile in Pool B. The squad selection is as follows:

  • David Harte.
  • James Carr.
  • Conor Harte.
  • Jonathan Bell.
  • John Jackson.
  • Luke Madeley.
  • Lee Cole.
  • Paul Gleghorne.
  • Shane O’Donoghue.
  • Stephen Cole.
  • Daragh Walsh.
  • Neal Glassey.
  • Matt Bell
  • Sean Murray
  • Eugene Magee
  • Matthew Nelson
  • Ben Walker.
  • Michael Robson

Speaking on the squad selection Head Coach, Alexander Cox, said, “I’m happy to announce the team that will fight for an Olympic qualifier ticket. There are some new names in the squad in comparison to our last World Cup endeavours. The selected squad gives me the opportunity to use certain players in multiple lines which I feel is an advantage for us. The upcoming camps and practice games will be used to prepare ourselves in the best possible way for the World Series.”

In the lead up to the FIH Series Finals the men will play host to the USA and France with international matches scheduled against the USA on May 24th and 26th, and against France on June 4th and 6th. There will also be an open training session for media and fans to attend on Friday the 31st of May in Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, from 16:00 to 17:30.

To find further information on the FIH Series Final tournament in Le Touquet this June, or purchase tickets, please see: http://ticketingfihseriesfinal.fr/en/

Further Information
Upcoming Home Internationals: dates & locations.
IRE V USA May 24th @ 19:00, Pembroke Hockey Club, Dublin

IRE V USA May 26th @ 12:00, Pembroke Hockey Club, Dublin

IRE V FRA Jun 4th @ 19:00, Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, Co. Down

IRE V FRA Jun 6th @ 12:00, Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, Co. Down

FIH Series Finals
The FIH Series Finals include some of the best teams in the world and are one of the roads to reach the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Indeed, the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals will secure a place in the Qualification Events for the next Olympic Games which will be held in October and November 2019. Le Touquet, France (Men)15-23 June 2019, match schedule available here.

Upcoming Internationals for Ireland Senior Men’s Squad

Ireland Senior Men’s team will take on USA and France over a number of matches between the end of May and beginning of June.

The Men’s team will play the USA on

  • Friday May 24th at 19:00, &
  • Sunday May 26th at 12:00
    in Pembroke Hockey Club, 27A Serpentine Ave, Dublin 4.

They will play France on

  • Tuesday June 4th at 19:00, &
  • Thursday June 6th at 12:00
    In Lisnagarvey, Comber Road Hillsborough Co. Down.

These will be the last international matches the Men’s team will play prior to their FIH Series Finals which take place in Le Touquet between the 15th and 23rd of June. Speaking on the games, Hockey Ireland Performance Director, Adam Grainger, said, “Hosting international matches in Ireland has become increasingly difficult recently, and Hockey Ireland Senior Men are therefore delighted to play both USA and France in Dublin and Belfast respectively. As our Senior Men return home from their respective clubs, these matches will provide much needed preparation for June’s World Series in Le Touquet. We encourage the hockey community to come out and support the players for what should be an exciting and rewarding summer of hockey”.

Tickets will be available at the gate for each of these matches.

More information on the Men’s FIH Series Finals in Le Touquet can be found at: http://ticketingfihseriesfinal.fr/en/