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Irish men’s squad adapts after close contact call

In line with Polish Covid-19 counter-measures, a number of playing members of the Hockey Ireland’s senior men’s squad are currently in quarantine.

The players were identified as potential close contacts while en route to Poland ahead of the EuroHockey Championship II in Gniezno which begins on Sunday evening.

Ireland’s first match of the tournament against Poland will go ahead as planned at 8pm (7pm Irish time).

Separately, prior to departure, Lee Cole was unable to travel to the tournament. Fergus Gibson subsequently travelled in his stead.

** All of Ireland’s EuroHockey Championship II games will be live streamed on www.eurohockeytv.org

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Under-21 women’s series raises curtain on new season

This weekend and next will see a series of high quality challenge matches with a focus on development leading into the Irish Under-21/Junior Green Army selection.

It started on Friday with a training game between Munster and Leinster and continues with Connacht facing Munster at Rosbrien at 3pm.

Sunday sees Connacht take on Leinster at Athlone before the focus switches to Abbotstown with Leinster meeting Connacht next Friday (4pm) and Munster the day after (2pm).

The series is primarily focused on bringing on the Under-20 age group who have moved out of the Under-19/18 age group and will give those players a chance to develop and be considered for selection into the national Under-21 programme.

The competition is not a formal interpros and scores will not be recorded into the record books. Ulster have opted to not take part this season with a selection from the province taking part in a UK schools event scheduled for early September.

A women’s Under-20 interprovincial competition is scheduled to be played during the season with matches in October, November, December and January.

** To read more about the new Interprovincial calendar for 2021/22, click here

Under-21 challenge series – schedule
Friday, August 13:
Munster v Leinster, 6pm, Garryduff – training game
Saturday, August 14: Connacht v Munster, 3pm, Rosbrien – Irish U-21 selection match
Sunday, August 15: Connacht v Leinster, Athlone – training game
Friday, August 20: Leinster v Connacht, 4pm, Abbotstown – Irish U-21 selection match
Saturday, August 21: Munster v Leinster, 2pm, Abbotstown – Irish U-21 selection match

Hockey Ireland Cup Competitions Season 2021/22 Entries Open – Reminder

Hockey Ireland Cup Competitions Season 2021/22.

Attached please find links for entering your Club to the Hockey Ireland Cup Competitions for season 2021-22.

Womens Competitions

Mens Competitions

Please find Cup Competition Qualification criteria HERE

You will also find below a list of Hockey Ireland clubs broken down by cup competitions that they qualify for. Please note this club list is subject to change when branches have finalised their league structures for 21/22.

Cup Eligibility 2021 Club List.xlsx

Hockey Ireland Cup Entry fees are unchanged from last season. Invoices will be sent out once the cut off date for entries is passed. Entry fees must be made prior to the competition starting, any clubs with outstanding payments by the competition start date will not be permitted to enter. Clubs that paid entry fees for Hockey Ireland Cup Competitions in 2020/21 season will have their entry fees transferred to 2021/22 season unless a refund is requested. If you have any queries on this please contact finance@hockey.ie

Closing Date for receipt of entries is Monday, 23rd August 2021.

Hockey Ireland Calendar for season 21/22 has been released and is available HERE

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Green Machine excited to make competitive return in Poland

** All of Ireland’s EuroHockey Championship II games will be live streamed on www.eurohockeytv.org

Twenty-two months on, Irish men’s head coach Mark Tumilty is excited to finally hit the turf on Sunday night with a first capped fixture since November 2019.

The Green Machine face hosts Poland at 7pm (Irish time) on day one of the EuroHockey Championship II in Gniezno with a new look panel with six players set to make their debut.

Among them is Kevin O’Dea who was called into the main panel earlier this week with Jonny Lynch having to step out at short notice. It means the Cork man – who completed his Leaving Cert earlier this summer – will become the first Munster player to make his debut since Julian Dale in 2016.

He is joined in the line-up by fellow uncapped players James Milliken, Kyle Marshall, Ben Nelson, Ian Stewart and Mark McNellis and coach Tumilty is excited to see how they will front up.

“With Covid, it has been a strange 16 to 18 months but very enjoyable and that’s down to the players,” he said.

“To get guys capped, to get guys into competitive international hockey is why we have trained and worked so hard. It’s been a long time coming around and obviously we have got the first chance to get out there since those Canada games. I’d like to get that out the road and move on!”

This summer, Ireland have won two uncapped series against Scotland and also have beaten a Great Britain development panel four times, most recently 3-0, 5-3 and 5-2 last weekend at Comber Road.

Now, formalities begin in earnest. The first target at this event is a top five finish from the eight-team competition which would bring a spot at October’s World Cup qualifiers. A strong performance will also boost world ranking points and offer better draw for those qualifiers and next summer’s European Championship qualifiers.

Kevin O’Dea in action against the GB Elite Development squad. Picture: Adrian Boehm

But, while Ireland are the highest ranked side in Poland at 14th in the world, that status is likely to count for little with very few of the contenders in Poland playing many games in the Covid-19 environment.

“Even from our own performances, we don’t have a lot of video so it is hard to evaluate our own level. Younger players coming into these tournaments, some will excel, some may struggle but we accept that and it is all part of what this group has to go through.

“Poland will be in the same bracket, Scotland have new faces… in general, all the teams have different faces and not many will have played many games in the last two years.”

After the Polish game, Ireland will meet Italy and then Croatia, the latter being the first ever meeting between the sides. Austria, Scotland, Switzerland and Ukraine await in the classification matches.

“We have been lucky enough to get some footage of the Polish games. 8pm, Sunday night, no doubt it will be a difficult opening game. I’ve coached against their club sides before and they always have good basics. Italy is a bit of an unknown; they had a very good World League out in Malaysia, beating China and unfortunate to go out against Canada. Croatia are an unknown.

“Most of all, I would be encouraging us to play. We need to go away from the belief simply in hard work and defence. For me, that should be a given. I would like us to play more through the midfield, a shape to allow us to express ourselves and play a more attacking style.

“That’s how I like to play and hopefully people have seen that in teams I have been involved with before. It will take time to get it fully embedded but hopefully we see it over the longer term.

“My goal is for us to consistently try and qualify for the larger tournaments and this is a small step on that road. The objective is to finish in the top five and stay in the World Cup qualification process but there are other goals in relation to our ranking for those qualifiers and also for next summer’s Euro qualifiers. To me, the focus is on the process. If we can do that, we should be grand.”

Ireland squad for EuroHockey Championship II, August 15-21; Gniezno, Poland

Jamie Carr (GK, KHC Leuven, 36)
James Milliken (GK, Lisnagarvey, 0)
Lee Cole (Monkstown, 89)
Kyle Marshall (Old Georgians, 0)
Tim Cross (Annadale, 8)
Mark McNellis (Lisnagarvey, 0)
Peter McKibbin (Lisnagarvey, 1)
Luke Madeley (KHC Leuven, 21)
Sean Murray (captain, KHC Leuven, 78)
Shane O’Donoghue (Glenanne, 190)
Michael Robson (Annadale, 113)
Kevin O’Dea (Cork C of I, 0)
Daragh Walsh (Three Rock Rovers, 51)
Jeremy Duncan (Monkstown, 56)
Ben Walker (Three Rock Rovers, 35)
Ben Nelson (Lisnagarvey, 0)
Ian Stewart (Corinthian, 0)
Johnny McKee (Banbridge, 43)
Travelling reserves: Neal Glassey (Crefelder HTC, 61), Sam Hyland (YMCA, 0)

Pool A fixture schedule (all in Gniezno, Poland – times Irish)
Sunday, August 15: Ireland v Poland, 7pm
Tuesday, August 17: Ireland v Italy, 4.45pm
Wednesday, August 18: Ireland v Croatia, 4.45pm

Friday, August 20/Saturday, August 21 – classification matches

Hockey Ireland welcomes Sports Capital Grant Allocations

Hockey Ireland is delighted the sport will receive almost €870,000 from the latest round of Sports Capital Grant Allocations with 41 equipment-based projects set to benefit directly.

Welcoming the news, Hockey Ireland CEO Jerome Pels said: “This is fantastic news for hockey and this allocation will have a significant, positive impact on the development of our sport and the ability of our clubs to deal with the increasing interest in taking up hockey!

“We would like to thank the Ministers for their support and we are looking forward to reporting back on the impact of the capital funds injection.”

In total, 33 clubs are set to benefit from the allocation while both the Leinster Hockey Association and Munster Hockey will be able to avail of extra funding for their projects.

Hockey Ireland was allocated €145,248 for six areas: Growing Junior Club Capacity (€29,539), Coach Education (€1,689), Masters (€3,828), National School Mass Participation (€55,912), Grassroots Camps (€6,887) and Indoor and JAG development (€47,393).

Capital allocations are due to be made in the Autumn; a number of new pitches, pitch resurfacing and LED floodlight upgrades have been applied for under this scheme.

The grants are part of an overall €16.6 million package of equipment grants announced by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, T.D, and the Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, T.D.

“Today I’m delighted to announce good news for hundreds of sports organisations right around the country,” stated Minister Martin when releasing the news.

“Sports Capital and Equipment funding is another example of Government helping sporting communities through these challenging times; supporting clubs and organisations to provide the facilities necessary to achieve our objectives of increased participation in sport; and help realise the immense benefits that physical activity can bring to our lives.

“Today’s grants will assist sports clubs and National Governing Bodies of Sport purchase the sports equipment to hopefully develop our sporting heroes and Olympians of the future.

“In terms of choosing the successful projects, the full assessment procedure and scoring system was published in advance. Priority was given to projects that will increase participation, that are located in areas with higher levels of socio-economic disadvantage and to organisations that did not receive significant funding under the Programme previously.

“In terms of how applications were scored, I am particularly pleased that an even greater emphasis was placed on encouraging increased women’s participation in sport.

“We remain committed to further capital investment in sport and while today’s grants relate mainly to relatively small equipment purchases, later this year we will announce the allocation of grants for capital projects under the Programme.”

Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, Jack Chambers T.D., highlighted the diversity of projects being funded: “I want to congratulate all of the successful applicants in receipt of grant funding today, particularly the volunteers at club level who made the applications and are the lifeblood of clubs and sporting organisations all over the country.

“Under this year’s programme, funding is being allocated to the clubs, schools and organisations which are striving to serve all of the community and especially those groups where there are traditionally lower participation levels. There is also a particular focus on promoting and growing female participation levels across our sports.

“Apart from the pleasure we all get from watching an event like the Olympics, the health benefits associated with sports participation are well documented and we want people to have every opportunity to get involved.

“As well as applications from local sports clubs, I am delighted that over €2m is being provided for sports equipment for National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs). Amongst the organisations to benefit under today’s grants are the FAI, Rowing Ireland, Swim Ireland, Paralympics Ireland and Special Olympics Ireland as well as dozens of others.

“I am also delighted that we are providing €1.4m for projects deemed to be of “regional” significance. Amongst these grantees are a number of county ladies football associations, Leinster Athletics and the Irish Homeless Street leagues.”

Hockey Ireland
Growing Jnr Club Capacity €29,539.00
Coach Education €1,689.00
Masters €3,828.00
Nat School Mass Participation €55,912.00
Grassroots Camps €6,887.00

 

Ashton HC €20,023.00
Avoca HC €34,418.00
Bandon HC €8,091.00
Belevedere HC €7,899.00
Blackrock HC €6,959.00
Castletroy €6,760.00
Clonakilty HC €17,904.00
Clontarf HC €46,602.00
Corinthian HC €45,000.00
Dublin North HC €8,718.00
Enniscorthy HC €17,621.00
Fermoy €2,160.00
Galway HC €21,479.00
Genesis HC €4,338.00
Gorey HC €10,387.00
Kilkenny HC €39,269.00
Kinsale HC €11,087.00
Kinvara HC €21,063.00
Leinster Hockey Association €22,069.00
Limerick HC €36,088.00
Midleton HC €15,716.00
Monkstown HC €14,540.00
Muckross HC €32,055.00
Mullingar HC €13,354.00
Munster Hockey €35,280.00
Naas HC €8,370.00
Navan HC €50,000.00
Our Lady’s HC €11,131.00
Rathgar HC €10,500.00
Renmore HC €13,615.00
Skerries €47,500.00
Tipperary HC €25,018.00
Tullamore HC €12,240.00
Wexford HC €19,336.00
Yeats Co €5,333.00
YMCA HC €22,614.00

** Laois Sports Partnership Ltd was also allocated €26,043 for their hockey for primary schools project.

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Six debutants in Irish men’s team for Euros in Poland

A new era for the Irish men’s team formally gets underway in two weeks as Mark Tumilty’s side take on the EuroHockey Championship II in Gniezno, Poland from August 15 to 21.

The eight-team competition will be their first capped matches since they missed out on the Tokyo Olympic Games in November 2019 in Vancouver.

Since then, Tumilty has used the past year to regenerate the panel and he brings with him six uncapped players in his central panel of 18 along with two more in the travelling reserves.

The competition is an important one with a top-five finish out of eight offering a ticket to October’s World Cup qualifiers in Wales. A run to the title, meanwhile, would bring vital ranking points as the Road to Paris 2024 comes into view as the Irish men look to make it back to the Olympic stage following their run to Rio in 2016.

“There were many difficult decisions to make when selecting the squad as the enlarged squad had worked extremely hard over the last 12 months,” coach Tumilty explained of the line-up.

“I feel the squad selected has a good balance of experience and youth. The squad, over recent camps against Scotland and GB, is starting to implement our playing style and it has been very pleasing that we have scored a significant number of goals. We will look to build on this as we go through the tournament.

“I look forward to the EuroHockey Championship II. We understand the importance of this tournament in securing a World Cup qualifying place. This tournament is the first step on the pathway to getting the Senior Men back competing in the major competitions on a consistent basis.  We need to start the tournament well and our focus is on the opening game against Poland.”

Four of the new faces hail from Lisnagarvey with Mark McNellis, Jonny Lynch and Ben Nelson included along with goalkeeper James Milliken who was an unused substitute at the 2019 Olympic qualifiers.

Ian Stewart will become the first current Corinthian player to line out for Ireland since Brian Doherty a decade ago and the seventh in total from the Whitechurch club.

Ex-Banbridge man and Irish Under-21 captain Kyle Marshall, meanwhile, is back in green following a spell in the Great Britain development panel, linking up again with his former club coach at Bann. He will play his club hockey with emerging London side Old Georgians in the upcoming season.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, record goalscorer Shane O’Donoghue made a welcome return to the line-up for July’s camp in Glasgow, scoring five times in two games.

Sean Murray, 24, will captain the side and he is among a number of players who lined out in the Belgian league last season, reaching the top eight playoffs with KHC Leuven – the others are goalkeeper Jamie Carr and Luke Madeley.

Lee Cole, Michael Robson, Daragh Walsh, Jeremy Duncan, Ben Walker, Johnny McKee and Tim Cross bring the relative experience to the table while Peter McKibbin will add to the single cap he picked up in 2019.

For the tournament, Tumilty is able to bring two travelling reserves – Cork C of I’s Kevin O’Dea and YMCA’s Sam Hyland.

It follows a productive summer with Ireland winning two separate uncapped series against Scotland and also a trip to Bisham Abbey, putting it up to the Great Britain Olympic team ahead of their departure to Tokyo.

Ian Stewart in action for Ireland against Scotland in an uncapped match, June 2021, Jordanstown

In Poland, Ireland will start off with a date against the hosts – ranked 26th in the world – on Sunday, August 15. They can potentially field former Railway Union and Leinster underage player Mateusz Nowakowski amid a similarly fresh-faced side.

Game two is a date against Italy (ranked 23rd) before concluding the group stages against Croatia, a first meeting between the two countries.

A top two finish will earn a World Cup qualifier ticket and a place in the semi-finals; miss out on those spots and the side will still have a chance to contest for the fifth ticket on offer in the classification matches.

Austria (20th), Switzerland (34th), Ukraine (29th) and Scotland (19th) wait in the wings on the other side of the draw.

Ireland will conclude their preparations with four matches this week against a GB elite development panel. These games take on place on Wednesday, August 4 (7pm) and Thursday, August 5 (7pm) featuring members of the wider panel while the Euro panel will play the same opponents on Saturday, August 7 (3pm) and Sunday, August 8 (11am). This series will be played at Lisnagarvey’s Comber Road venue.

Men’s EuroHockey Championship II (August 15-21, 2021)

Ireland squad (club/caps)
Jamie Carr (GK, KHC Leuven, 36)
James Milliken (GK, Lisnagarvey, 0)
Lee Cole (Monkstown, 89)
Kyle Marshall (Old Georgians, 0)
Tim Cross (Annadale, 8)
Mark McNellis (Lisnagarvey, 0)
Peter McKibbin (Lisnagarvey, 1)
Luke Madeley (KHC Leuven, 21)
Sean Murray (captain, KHC Leuven, 78)
Shane O’Donoghue (Glenanne, 190)
Michael Robson (Annadale, 113)
Jonny Lynch (Lisnagarvey, 0)
Daragh Walsh (Three Rock Rovers, 51)
Jeremy Duncan (Monkstown, 56)
Ben Walker (Three Rock Rovers, 35)
Ben Nelson (Lisnagarvey, 0)
Ian Stewart (Corinthian, 0)
Johnny McKee (Banbridge, 43)

Travelling reserves: Kevin O’Dea (Cork C of I, 0), Sam Hyland (YMCA, 0)

Coach: Mark Tumilty
Assistant coach: Jason Klinkradt
Manager: Neil Irwin
Physiotherapist: Natalie Turner
Physical Trainer: Eoin Cunniffe
Video technician: Ross Willis

Pool A fixture schedule (all in Gniezno, Poland – times Irish)
Sunday, August 15: Ireland v Poland, 7pm
Tuesday, August 17: Ireland v Italy, 4.45pm
Wednesday, August 18: Ireland v Croatia, 4.45pm
Friday, August 20/Saturday, August 21 – classification matches