Hockey Ireland Announce Squad for Men’s Indoor Tournament

It’s an exciting time for Irish Indoor Hockey with the re-establishment of the Men’s and Women’s Senior National Teams after a 30+ year hiatus. The last tournament the Ireland Indoor Men’s Team played in was at home at Loughlinstown Leisure Centre in Co. Dublin in 1987.

“I would like to compliment all players involved in the preparation period so far on their commitment,” said Head Coach, Kenny Carroll. “Selecting the final squad was difficult due to the high standard of players who were in contention. The 12 players selected to represent Ireland, the 2 non travelling reserves, the players on the Training Panel and all players playing domestic club Indoor hockey this season are all part of the journey we are on to compete at the top level and also to build and improve the base of Indoor hockey in Ireland. Both of these aims are mutually inclusive and reliant on each other, and will improve and develop Hockey in Ireland, there is no doubt.

I am very happy to have in our squad an array of talented athletes who I believe will prepare diligently for and play exciting and clinical Indoor hockey while representing Ireland in Santander in January. The team will be lead on the court by our captain John Jackson , who has been part of the many International successes of the Green Machine over the last decade. Throughout the squad we have a nice blend of current and previous International experience, exciting young talent and ambitious athletes. We have tough and experienced opponents in hosts Spain, Scotland , Slovenia and Wales. I know our squad are relishing this challenge.

The supportive management team are also looking forward to assisting the playing group in the next stage of the preparation phase and the Tournament.

Ireland Men Indoor Squad – Santander January 17th- 19th 2020 EuroHockey Indoor Championship III

The Selected Squad is as follows:

1. Ross Canning (Three Rock Rovers)

2. Mark English (Three Rock Rovers)

3. Neal Glassey (Crefelder THC – Germany)

4. John Jackson – captain (Team Bath Buccaneers – England)

5. Jason Lynch – vice captain (Monkstown)

6. Harry Morris (Three Rock Rovers)

7. Stephen O’Keeffe – GK (Railway Union)

8. Brendan Parsons (Railway Union)

9. Rowland Rixon Fuller (Glenanne)

10. Callum Robson (Crefelder THC – Germany)

11. Michael Robson (Crefelder THC – Germany)

12. Stephen West – GK (Team Bath Buccaneers – England)

Non travelling Reserves

13. Eoin MacArthur (Railway Union)

14. Mark Crooks (Cookstown)

Management Team

Kenny Carroll – Head Coach

Craig Stewart – Assistant Coach / Analyst

Rob Abbott – Manager

Huw Rees – Physio


Training Panel

15. Neil Byrne (Glenanne )

16. Richard Couse (Avoca)

16. Ben O Grady (YMCA)

17. Stu Ronan (Glenanne)

18. Stu Smyth (Cookstown)

21. Jakim Bernsden GK (YMCA)

20. Euan MacKay GK (Corinthians)

Marius Gallagher RIP

Hockey Ireland were saddened today to learn of the death of Marius Gallagher following a long illness.

He served as President of the Leinster Umpires Association from 1974 to 1975 and then again from 1986 to 1987.

He also served as President of the Leinster Branch from 1990 to 1992 and then President of the Irish Hockey Union from 1995 to 1997.

Marius was also an FIH Umpire.

His contribution to hockey was felt throughout the land and he will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Reposing on Friday evening, November 29 from 5pm to 7pm in Carnegies Funeral Home, Monkstown, A94 XK28. Funeral Mass on Saturday at 10am in the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Foxrock followed by Cremation at Mount Jerome Crematorium, Harold’s Cross, D.6W. Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to the Blackrock Hospice. House private.

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President’s Newsletter December 2019

The new hockey season is now in full swing but let me start this Newsletter by going back to June of this year when the FIH World Series Finals for the Road to Tokyo both for the Women and the Men took place during this month.

The Women’s team were first out of the blocks when the tournament was held at Banbridge Hockey Club from June 8th to June 16th. A very big thank you to Banbridge Hockey Club for hosting this tournament at short notice when there wasn’t a suitable venue available in Dublin. Following a very gruelling schedule of pool matches both Ireland and Korea came top of their groups and came together in the Final on June 16 where Korea got the better of Ireland on a score line of 3-1. Both teams then qualified to go forward to the next phase for the qualifiers to take place in November.

A special mention must go to all the members of Banbridge Hockey Club along with all the other volunteers from the various clubs in Ireland. A special mention must also go to Inez Cooper and Joan Morgan for steering the ship for this event. During the event there was also a reception by the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council which was attended by various dignitaries.

The Men’s team had to travel to Le Touquet, in France for their World Series Tournament which overlapped with the Women’s event in Banbridge. In this event both Ireland and France topped their respective pools and played of for the No 1 spot and this honour went to France on a score of 3-1 in a very tough encounter. However, both France and Ireland advanced to the Olympic Qualifiers to be played in October.

August was the month for the European Championships which were held this year in Antwerp, Belgium which unfortunately due to illness, I was unable to travel to at the last minute. The Women’s team had a very satisfactory tournament finishing a very credible 5th position. However, the same can’t be said of the Men’s side who unfortunately lost their Division 1 status and will be fighting hard over the next number of years to regain this position.

On August 31st I was invited to Mossley Hockey Clubs annual dinner where they were celebrating their 90th year in existence. It was a very special occasion and a very enjoyable evening where the speeches weren’t too long but very entertaining. The dinner was held in the Old Mill and the evening ended with a lot of the guests returning to the Clubhouse to finish off their evening.

September saw both the Boys and Girls Interpros taking place with the Boys competing in Belfast where the Ulster boys were victorious in the U16 competition with Munster taking the honours in the U18 event. In fact, this was the first time that Munster won these Interpros since 2005 where the Harte brothers David & Conor were represented on this team.

The Girls Interpros took place this year in Garryduff, Cork where Ulster had a clean sweep in both the U16 and U18 competitions taking regaining the honours from Leinster who won both in 2018.
On September 7th as President I was invited to chair the AGM of the IHUA which was very well attended this year.

On October 14th I was invited to attend the Cork City & County Youth Awards where the month of September winner was a hockey player. Kevin O’Dea of C of I hockey club and Ashton School was the recipient of this award for captaining the Munster U18 team who brought the trophy back to Munster for the first time in fourteen years. Kevin was also the Captain of the Irish U18 team which competed in the Europeans in 2018 which were held in the Mardyke in Cork.

Later in October the All Ireland Schoolboys Championships took place this year in Dublin where seven venues were used during the three day competition. The weather was magnificent for the first two days but unfortunately on the Friday of the tournament the rain was incessant as both semi finals were played in atrocious conditions, however the four teams put on a magnificent display of hockey despite the weather. The final took place later that afternoon, still in bad conditions, at Columbus College between High School and St Andrews when after a magnificent comeback by High School in the second half they forced the game to a Shootout which they subsequently won on sudden death with a score of 7-6 to take the Tasmanian Shield back to High School for the very first time.

This year also saw the introduction of a Plate Competition for the inaugural Herbie Sharman Shield, which was presented by Kilkenny College. Herbie was a former teacher in the College for 27 years and was also a coach for the school and was manager of many underage Leinster and Irish teams as well as being President of Hockey Ireland from 2010/2012. This competition is played for by the runners up in the 4 pools and this year’s final was between two Cork sides, Ashton and Bandon, with Bandon winning out on this occasion with a score line of 1-0.

November was a big month for Irish Hockey with both the Men’s and Women’s teams playing their respective Olympic Qualifiers for a place in Tokyo 2020. Both teams were drawn against Canadian opposition, with the men playing away in Vancouver and the women playing at home in Energia Park in Donnybrook.

At the end of the second leg in Vancouver, the game finished in controversial circumstances with the Irish team coming out the wrong end of a very unusual umpiring decision. As a result of this the Men’s side will not now, due to this unfortunate incident be going to the Tokyo Olympics next year.

The Ireland Women’s team played Canada on a specially laid an International Hockey pitch to the same standard as the Tokyo Olympic Polytan pitch on a rugby ground in Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. This was achieved with the help of 57 local volunteers with over 350 hours over three sessions to deliver this project. Having drawn the first leg 0-0 in atrocious conditions the stage was set for an intriguing second game. On a much better night for hockey watched by over 6137 people in the stadium and a peak live audience of 397,000 watching on TV. Again, after a nail biting finish, not the best hockey game we’ve seen, it again finished in stalemate at 0-0. So, we went to the dreaded shoot outs. After the first three rounds Ireland were down 1-3….. enter goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran to once again make two crucial saves (as in last year’s World Cup) while Beth Barr and Chloe Watkins both scored and to set up a sudden death scenario. Roisin Upton stepped up to take the first shoot out and squeezed the ball into the net from a very acute angle while Ayeshia went on to thwart the Canadian player. The Canadian player came forward to take her shoot out but failed to score within the 8 seconds allowed.

And so, the celebrations could begin, the Irish team made history by becoming the first Women’s Hockey team to make an appearance at an Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Many congratulations to Coach Sean Dancer and all the backroom staff on a magnificent achievement.

On Saturday November 9th I, along with my wife Anne were invited guests to the 125th Anniversary Dinner of Monkstown Hockey Club. This event was held at The Pavilion, Leopardstown where 220 guests sat down to an excellent meal which was followed by dancing until the early hours. I spoke on behalf of Hockey Ireland to respond to a toast to Ireland. A very enjoyable night was had in excellent company.

I want to take this opportunity of wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful 2020.

Martin Canniffe, Hockey Ireland President.

IHUA and Sedgwick Ireland announce new sponsorship deal

The Irish Hockey Umpires Association (IHUA) is delighted to announce the signing of a four-year sponsorship agreement withSedgwick, a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions. Under the agreement, Sedgwick will become the headline sponsor partner to the IHUA umpiring panel for on-field umpire attire. Following the recent announcement of Specialist Sports UK / Adidas as the exclusive clothing supplier to IHUA, the clothing will now proudly carry the Sedgwick branding.

Running from the 2019/20 season, the IHUA will promote Sedgwick Ireland throughout all provinces through Ireland’s premier national league competitions, the EY Hockey Leagues as well as all Irish Cup Competitions, International Test Matches, Inter-provincial tournaments, All Ireland Schools finals and Indoor hockey.

IHUA Chairman Warren McCully is looking forward to the future with enthusiasm. He said, “This is tremendous news for umpiring and further demonstrates our commitment and support to hockey within Ireland. Umpires are an essential part of the game and we believe Sedgwick Ireland shares IHUA’s key values and focus on taking care of the people in hockey and we are absolutely delighted to enter into this partnership together.

This generous support not only affords an unrivalled prospect to promote the Sedgwick brand to the extensive and still rapidly growing hockey community but also ensures that we have vital umpire development funding for the immediate future. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Brian Caruth and Hockey Ireland for their involvement in securing the deal.”

The IHUA has recently undergone a major rebranding exercise culminating in this announcement of the Sedgwick Ireland collaboration and finalising the vision of umpiring within hockey in Ireland. It will also allow the IHUA to further support its umpires, umpire coaches, umpire assessors and umpire managers nationally for their personal development and to deliver sustained excellence both at home and on the international stage.

Malcolm Hughes, CEO of Sedgwick Ireland, said, “Sedgwick is Ireland’s largest and longest established specialist third party insurance administrator and loss adjuster, and we are proud to be able to support the IHUA.

Like Sedgwick, hockey has a great and storied history in Ireland, and we are delighted to support the incredible work and dedication of umpires across all levels of the game,” he added.

Pictured from left to right at the launch of the new sponsorship agreement: Peter Conway (Hockey Ireland Board of Directors), Dick Harnett (Head of Business Development & Sales @ Sedgwick Ireland), Bruce Bale (IHUA & International Hockey Umpire), Alison Keogh (IHUA & International Hockey Umpire), Gillian Morgan (Head of Business Services, Marketing & Brand @ Sedgwick Ireland) and Warren McCully (IHUA Chairperson) Location: UCD National Hockey Stadium.

Ireland’s Women’s Hockey Team make History to Qualify for Tokyo

Wilson, Duke and Colvin started off strong in the second quarter to get things going, however Duke was on the receiving end of a Green Card shortly after. Canada appeared to have more chances throughout the second quarter, however none prevailed. A bounce over Mullan’s stick skimmed the back of it before she circled it expertly around her opponent and found a Canadian foot. The awarding penalty corner awarded to Ireland was overturned by the video umpire for a back-stick.

Canada failed to convert a huge chance in the third quarter to put themselves on the scoreboard. A penalty corner for Ireland failed to convert in the final quarter, and the sides remained level going into the final minute. Canada were awarded two consecutive penalty corners in the final minute of the game. The final hooter went with level sides still. A penalty shoot-out was to decide the fate of both teams.

Penalty shoot-out saw Ireland down 3 – 1 at one point. However, the team held their nerve with Bethany Barr bringing them back up to 3 – 2 down. Chloe Watkins brought the equaliser and Canada’s Johnston was denied by McFerran, taking them to sudden death. The packed house in Energia Park held it’s breath.

Roisin Upton slipped by Williams and put the ball across the line for Ireland, surviving a video referral. Woodcroft failed to take her shot before the 8 seconds were up, and Ireland secured their ticket to Tokyo. The first Irish Women’s Hockey team to do so ever.

Canada NORLANDER S McFERRAN Ayeisha Goal 0 – 1

Ireland PINDER G WILLIAMS Kaitlyn No Goal 0 – 1

Canada WOODCROFT A McFERRAN Goal 0 – 2

Ireland DALY N WILLIAMS Goal 1 – 2

Canada WRIGHT K McFERRAN Goal 1 – 3

Ireland UPTON R WILLIAMS No Goal 1 – 3

Canada STAIRS B McFERRAN No Goal 1 – 3

Ireland BARR B WILLIAMS Goal 2 – 3

Canada JOHNSTON S McFERRAN No Goal 2 – 3

Ireland WATKINS C WILLIAMS Goal 3 – 3

Ireland UPTON R WILLIAMS Goal 4 – 3

Canada WOODCROFT A McFERRAN No Goal 4 – 3

Ireland: A McFerran, R Upton, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, B Barr, C Watkins, L Colvin, N Daly, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson

Subs: S Barr, N Evans, G Pinder, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, D Duke, L Murphy

Canada: K Williams, K Wright, D Hennig, R Donohoe, K Johansen, N Aourissea, S McManus, A Woodcroft, B Stairs, S Johnston, S Norlander

Subs: A Lee, E Wong, K Leahy, H Haughn, N Woodcroft, M Secco, R Harris

Umpires: Y Makar (CRO), M Meister (GER)