Hockey Ireland Announce Women’s Squad for Olympic Qualifiers

Irish Women’s Head Coach, Sean Dancer, has announced the squad which has been selected for the upcoming Olympic qualifier in Energia Park on the 2nd and 3rd of November against Canada. The team confirmed their place in the Olympic qualifier last June in their FIH Series Finals outing in Banbridge which saw the team reach the final of the tournament, narrowly missing out on the overall win to Korea.

After a busy period of training and practice matches, following a positive Euro Hockey Championships in Antwerp last August, the squad are good form heading into their final week of preparations leading into their home Olympic qualifiers.

The squad is as follows:

1 Ayeisha McFerran Ulster
2 Roisin Upton Munster
3 Nikki Evans Leinster
4 Kathryn Mullan (C) Ulster
5 Shirley McCay Ulster
6 Elena Tice Leinster
7 Gillian Pinder Leinster
8 Beth Barr Ulster
9 Serena Barr Ulster
10 Chloe Watkins Leinster
11 Lizzie Colvin Ulster
12 Nicola Daly Leinster
13 Hannah Matthews Leinster
14 Sarah Hawkshaw Leinster
15 Anna O’Flanagan (VC) Leinster
16 Zoe Wilson Ulster
17 Deirdre Duke Leinster
18 Elizabeth Murphy Leinster
Speaking on the selection, Head Coach Sean Dancer said “I’m very happy with the squad we’ve chosen to represent Ireland in this Olympic qualifier.

Canada are a good side, when you get to this level everyone is, you can’t underestimate any team you come up against. We’ve been working hard the past few months and I’m confident in this team’s ability to be successful.”

The Irish Women’s Olympic qualifier matches will take place on the 2nd and 3rd of November in Energia Park, Donnybrook. The winner on goal aggregate will seal their spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. These matches mark the only Olympic qualifier, for any sport, in Ireland this year.

Seated tickets have sold out however there are still terrace tickets left for both days. Come out and support the Green Army. Be part of their journey as they strive to be the first Irish Women’s Hockey team to qualify for an Olympic Games. Tickets available at

Female Leadership Conference 24th November

Calling all hockey umpires, coaches and volunteers! Hockey Ireland are holding a Female Leadership Conference on Sunday 24th November. The conference aims to engage with those in the hockey community who are female leaders, or currently work with women / girls in our sport, while offering inspiration and support through keynote speakers, interviews and workshops.

Over the next few days we will be introducing speakers / panelists. Today, we would like to announce that Sports Journalist and Broadcaster Marie Crowe will host the conference.

There are limited tickets available so register now at the following link! Tickets are 40 euro


Cost: €40

Date: Sunday 24th Nov

Time: 10.00 – 16.00

Venue: National Sport Campus Conference Centre

For tickets, go to:

‘Our dream is still on the line’ – Match Report IRL v CAN

Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh in Vancouver on behalf of Hockey Ireland

Ireland will take a two goal lead into the second leg of their Olympic qualifier against Canada tomorrow after beating the hosts 5-3 in Vancouver today.

A goal from Chris Cargo and two each from Shane O’Donoghue and Sean Murray gave Ireland the win in an impressive performance.

Man-of-the-match O’Donoghue attributed the win to the fighting Irish spirit that the Green Machine traveled with.

“It’s a good win. It’s one from two. And that’s all it is”, he said. “Obviously there was a lot of fighting spirit out there and that was one thing we said before we came to these games: that we would play that Irish fighting spirit. And we did.

“We had a couple of sucker-punches during the game. Bounced back. Showed the resilience of this group.

“But listen, the job is only half-way done.”

Ireland drew first blood early in the game after Chris Cargo found space to get through the Canadian defenders and duly finished the chance.

Canada then found their feet and brought the game to Ireland a bit more. They equalised through a penalty corner chance before the end of the first quarter. Irish goalkeeper David Fitzgerald, in for the injured David Harte, got a hand to the shot, but the force behind it finished the job.

Canada’s confidence continued to grow in the second quarter, and they went 2-1 up mid-way through, again through a penalty corner. Ireland entered a referral plea, but the decision on the pitch was upheld and Ireland lost their referral privileges for the rest of the game.

Encouraged by a strong finish to the first half, Ireland came out all guns blazing and equalised two minutes into the third quarter through a penalty corner, all-time leading goalscorer O’Donoghue adding the finishing touch to make it 2-2.

Ireland kept the pressure on and were rewarded eight minutes later when Sean Murray put the visitors a goal up, giving Ireland a 3-2 lead into the final quarter.

The Canadians found another gear then in the fourth, which eventually paid off when they equalised 3-3 with 12 minutes to go.

Canada had a chance to take the lead again minutes later, earning another penalty corner for their efforts, but after taking too long to get set, saw a yellow card and were down to 10 players.

This gave Ireland the chance to really get a foothold on the game, and a quick attack saw Sean Murray put Ireland back in the lead, before O’Donoghue sealed the win.

“We did our homework obviously”, O’Donoghue said after the game. “We negated their strengths for most of the game.

“They got a couple of chances that went astray or cut across the back post, but I think in general we kept them at bay. Kept their key players under control and I think from there we flourished.

Ireland now look to recover and regroup ahead of the second leg, with Canada needing to win it by at least two goals to reach the 2020 Olympics.

“Our dream is still on the line”, O’Donoghue continued. “Nothing is a given here and we’re only 50% of the way there. So we’ll do whatever we have to do individually.”


This weekend sees the second round of the Irish Senior Cup take centre stage with 7 ties to be completed.

There are two all EYHL pairings with Banbridge hosting Lisnagarvey – both sides missing key players on International duty in Vancouver – and Three Rock Rovers, current holders, welcoming YMCA in a repeat of last weekend’s Leinster Senior Mills Cup tie.

Bray, the only non EYHL or EYHL 2 team left in the draw, host Monkstown and Pembroke Wanderers and Glenanne both welcome EYHL 2 opponents in Avoca, @ Serpentine Ave, and Cork Harlequins @ St. Andrews.

Clontarf, unbeaten in the Leinster Senior League, and UCD, joint leaders of the EYHL, face each other in an intriguing encounter in North Dublin.

Two EYHL 2 sides come face to face in Cookstown as the home team play host to Railway Union guaranteeing at least two EYHL 2 sides will be in the draw for the quarter finals on 7th December.

Cork Church of Ireland, who gained a walkover following the withdrawal of Mossley, are also into the draw for the next round.

Draw for Quarter-finals, to be played on 7th Dec’19, and semi-finals will take place next week.

Minister Ross Opens Sport Ireland Hockey Training Centre

The new state of the art hockey pitch at the Sport Ireland Campus was officially opened by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, providing a welcome boost to Ireland’s national hockey teams ahead of their pivotal Tokyo 2020 qualification matches against Canada.

The surface is a Polytan Polygras Toyko GT surface the same surface that will be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking at the opening today which was attended by senior international players, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, said: “I am delighted to officially open this magnificent facility, a new high performance training pitch for Irish hockey into the future. I am sure that this new world- class hockey pitch at the Campus will be of great benefit for our teams in terms of preparing for Tokyo 2020 and beyond. And I want to take this opportunity to wish all of our athletes and teams well in their bids to qualify for Tokyo and in their preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics next year.”

Construction of the pitch was completed in recent weeks and has been utilised by both squads, providing a timely boost ahead of their crucial Olympic Qualifiers.

Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, commented: “Following a remarkable period of success by our national teams, Sport Ireland is delighted to be in a position to provide world class facilities for our hockey players here on the Sport Ireland Campus. This development makes a clear statement that the Sport Ireland Campus is the home of high performance hockey in Ireland. The completion of the hockey pitch is another important milestone for the Sport Ireland, which recently added the Phase 2 of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena and Irish Rugby’s training centre to the long list of world class facilities on the Sport Ireland Campus. I would like to wish both the Women’s and Men’s senior international teams the very best in their respective qualification matches against Canada.”

Both Irish senior squads have been utilising the pitch in their preparations for their upcoming Olympic qualifiers and continue to avail of the range of training supports and professional services offered by the Sport Ireland Institute.

Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, added: “The location of the pitch here at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus allows all national players to avail of existing science, medicine and lifestyle support services through the Sport Ireland Institute. This pitch will not only be a huge boost to them, but also to our up and coming players who will no doubt have been inspired by the recent performances of our women’s and men’s teams.”

Chair of Sport Ireland’s National Sports Campus Committee, Patrick O’Connor, said: “The opening of the Sport Ireland Hockey Training Centre is the latest world-class facility to open on the Sport Ireland Campus. The development of this new pitch alleviates the need for Irish teams to travel abroad to train, giving them access to the latest in pitch technology here in Ireland. The construction of the pitch, coupled with the other extensive facilities on the site, opens up opportunities to attract other major international teams here to the Sport Ireland Campus.”

The Ireland Men’s squad have recently travelled to Belgium for their final preparation matches ahead of their Vancouver qualifier which will take place on the 26th and 27th of October. The Women’s squad are currently in camp in their final phases of their preparations. They travel to Germany next week for a two-match series before returning home to face Canada in their Olympic qualifier on the 2nd and 3rd of November.

Speaking at the opening of the pitch, Eric Brady, Chairman of Hockey Ireland, said: “Hockey Ireland is delighted the pitch on the Sport Ireland Campus is now open. This new FIH standard pitch will be a huge asset to our international teams in their training for world class tournaments and events, especially considering its close proximity to the other Sport Ireland facilities such as the Sport Ireland Institute. This great addition to the Sport Ireland Campus will also provide a world standard state of the art hockey surface for all Hockey Ireland’s development and underage teams to practice and compete on, as they strive to emulate the achievements of the current Women’s and Men’s teams.”

The Green Army – Ireland Senior Women – will play the only Olympic qualifier, in any sport, on Irish soil this year on the 2nd and 3rd of November. Tickets for the qualifiers can be purchased here:

Men’s Irish Hockey Challenge 2019-20 takes on a new format

The Hockey Ireland Cups Committee are happy to introduce the new format for the Mens Irish Hockey Challenge Competition. This new format will be trialled across the 2019-20 season and will hopefully prove successful and an enjoyable experience for the clubs involved.

The change in the format was brought about by the decreasing number of clubs that are entering the competition as it is designed to give the clubs involved the opportunity to play more matches. It is believed this will prove a more successful format and increase the number of clubs entering the competition in future years.

The Competition format and regulations can be found below and fixtures for Pool A and Pool B

Mens Challenge Rules Fixtures

EVENT PASSED.Tickets for Olympic Qualifier on Sale Oct 1st

Tickets for the women’s Olympic Qualifier event to be held on 2nd and 3rd November go on general sale at noon on 1st October. There is huge interest from the general public surrounding this unique event – the only Olympic qualification event to be held in Ireland this year across any sport and the Irish passion for team sports is giving all the indicators that tickets will sell quickly and we should expect a large crowd!

Tickets can be purchased at:

Hockey Ireland Announce Squad for Men’s Olympic Qualifier

Head Coach Mark Tumilty has announced the Irish squad which will travel to Vancouver for Olympic qualifier double header at the end of this month. The team confirmed their place in the Olympic qualifier last June by beating Korea to reach the final match of their FIH Series Final in Le Touquet.

Having recently returned from a two-series test match against France in Bordeaux, securing two wins from two, the squad is in positive form. The men will travel to Belgium this weekend for final preparations ahead of their Olympic qualifier in Vancouver.

The squad is as follows:

David Harte

David Fitzgerald

Lee Cole

Conor Harte

Jonathan Bell

Stuart Loughrey

John Jackson

Tim Cross

Daragh Walsh

Sean Murray

Chris Cargo

Shane O’Donoghue

Michael Robson

Eugene Magee

John McKee

Matthew Nelson

Jeremy Duncan

Peter Caruth

Both Stephen Cole and Ben Walker will travel with the team as reserves.

Speaking on the announcement, Mark said, “This squad has a good mix of experience and youth. We’ve seen good progress over the last three weeks. I’m confident this group of players has the ability to be successful in the Olympic qualifiers.”

The Irish men’s Olympic Qualifier will take place in Vancouver on the 26th and 27th of October. The winner on goal aggregate will seal their spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

For those travelling to support the Green Machine, tickets for the qualifier in Rutledge Field in West Vancouver can be purchased here:

Tricks4Sticks returns

So far in 2019, 15 clubs have already benefited from Hockey Ireland’s Tricks4Sticks programme.

Supported by Sport Ireland Dormant Accounts funding, the programme focuses on bringing hockey to areas of disadvantage, while also providing personal development opportunities for those involved. As part of the programme, we have delivered coaching to over 8000 kids in 50 schools and trained up over 270 Young Hockey Leaders!

A great example of how the funding is benefiting clubs and communities is on the North Coast where coach and Ballymoney club coordinator, Maria Doherty is delivering the programme in 5 primary schools.

“We are delighted to have benefited from the Tricks4Sticks funding,” said Maria, “it has enabled the club to go into schools in the local area and deliver high quality coaching to boys from age 8-11. Most of these kids have never played hockey before so we are starting from scratch and it is amazing to see them develop so quickly and have so much fun. When I leave on a Tuesday the boys are saying they can’t wait for the next week, which is exactly what every coach wants to hear!!

Two of the five schools that I am working with have entered a boys’ team into the local primary school blitzes, the demand is now there and we hope to watch this grow over the years. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our schools, clubs and the local area.”

The coaching will take place over 6 weeks in each school and focuses on growing the club membership and getting the new teams an opportunity to compete. This week 2 teams of boys got to compete in their first Ulster Hockey blitz in Cookstown. The club have run a Hockey Ireland Young Hockey Leaders Award to help train young people as coaches and umpires within the club, to help support the programme.

For more information on Tricks4Sticks please click here