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Watch the Irish Women’s Team in action before the World Cup.

The Irish Women’s Senior team is back in action this weekend, and you can watch them take on Japan in the SoftCo series before they head off to Amsterdam for the World Cup.

This will be your last chance to see them —and it’s also an excellent opportunity to see some up-and-coming talent as well!

The SoftCo series will run side by side with the U23 Uniphar 5 Nations, which showcases young players from around the world.  You can catch these games at UCD.

Tickets can be bought here.

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Fresh-looking Irish men win series over Italy at Lisnagarvey

The Irish men picked up two wins and a draw from their three-game series against Italy at Lisnagarvey as they continue their summer schedule, building experience and knowledge ahead of the European Championships qualifiers in August.

Coach Mark Tumilty was “pleased with the progress” over the weekend with four new players making their international debuts amid a 2-1 win on Friday, 3-0 on Saturday and a 1-1 tie on Sunday morning.

“Friday was the one which we struggled which we need to be wary of when it comes to opening games of tournaments,” Tumilty said of the series.

“Saturday I was pleased with how we started but we need to maintain that. We grew into this one and getting that consistency is what we need to get at the minute. Can we play for the four quarters?”

It is part of a busy phase for the Irish men with an upcoming four nations tournament in Scotland with Wales and USA also featuring while Austria and Chile come to Dublin in the coming months. The main event is in Calais in late August with a ticket to next year’s European Championships the target.

Picture: Adrian Boehm

Having so many games is key for Tumilty and he was happy with how 17-year-old Charlie Rowe, Rory Patterson, Ben Johnson and Johnny Lynch performed.

“Charlie should be very pleased with his two performances but it doesn’t surprise me. He has that mentality; we didn’t give him a lot of instructions, just let him play and that is often how it should be with younger players.

“I was happy in general with the new caps and how they settled, getting good competition in the squad which is important.”

Getting that extra game time is also crucial with a young panel, many of whom still making their way in the international game after a low-key two years during the Covid-19 break.

“That was a key objective – to get 25 to 30 games in. The more players we can get from 50 to 100 caps, the better. The top nations have so many between 150 and 200 and so we have to get them that exposure. We do have a good balance of meeting higher-ranked nations and those below us who we need to win against.

“This year, it took a while to get our program in place but I am pleased with what we were able to get in place to get us through to Paris [2024 Olympic qualifiers].

“Our staff is in place and we do have an opportunity to grow physically to compete all the way through next year. I am happy where our support is – although obviously, I would like more money to compete with the big nations!”

*** Game reports ***

Friday Ireland 2 (C Empey, J McKee) Italy 1 (T Keenan)

Two goals in the 49th minute saw Ireland’s men come back to win 2-1 and continue their long unbeaten run against Italy.

It dates back to 2013 and spans 11 games now as Conor Empey and Jonny McKee scored within seconds of each other to overturn a first half Thomas Keenan effort.

Keenan – whose grandfather hails from Cork before moving to Argentina – swooped to net a penalty corner rebound which had given the 27th ranked Italians a surprise win in the first of three capped matches at Comber Road this weekend.

But the Green Machine camped in the visitors’ half for much of the second half and eventually broke through via some McKee 3D magic, unlocking the door for Sean Murray to lift the ball over Francesco Mitrotta with Empey getting the final touch.

McKee then got one of his own mere seconds after the restart to transform the result. The tie saw Rory Patterson and Johnny Lynch earn their first formal Irish caps

Saturday: Ireland 3 (J McKee 2, C Empey) Italy 0

Jonny McKee’s double helped make it two wins from two for Ireland in their three-game series against Italy at a rain-soaked Comber Road.

The Banbridge man augmented Conor Empey’s second minute opening strike with a super revese-stick strike before completing the win in the closing stages.

The tie also served as a first cap for Ben Johnson and Charlie Rowe – another Banbridge man – 17 days shy of his 18th birthday. Indeed, Rowe had captained the Irish Under-18s in a win over England and he felt he took the step up in his stride.

“It is really nice to get the first cap at my age, clean sheet and a win,” Rowe said afterwards. “It’s exciting and hopefully more to come. I wasn’t too nervous about it, just got on and played away. Once I got into it, I didn’t really worry about it too much!”

In this one, they got off to a flyer with Ben Walker slipping the ball into the path of Empey who rounded on the ball, cracking home his second goal in two games on the turn.

Goal two followed soon after with Luke Madeley’s long overhead pass finding McKee beyond the last defender. He controlled it brilliantly before flipping the ball onto his backhand and picking out the bottom corner.

Madeley could have made it three but cleared the crossbar from a penalty stroke as Ireland dominated the first 10 minutes before the Italians settled. The visitors held sway for parts of the second and third quarter on a slow pitch but found clear chances at a premium.

But Ireland closed out the contest on the up, working an excellent overload move via McKee and on to Jeremy Duncan. His first shot was parried by Roberto Broere but McKee followed up to kill off the chance.

Sunday: Ireland 1 (B Johnson) Italy 1 (M Mondo)

Ben Johnson netted his first international goal but the overall feeling was one of frustration as Ireland were unable to make the most of a plethora of chances in their closing test match against Italy at Comber Road.

The Waterford native flicked in from the right of the D in the 40th minute to cancel out Manuel Mondo’s first half drag-flick.

Mark Tumilty’s side subsequently laid siege to the visitors goal but, despite, new numerous near misses could not find the crucial touch.

Ireland did start heavily on the front foot with Jeremy Duncan, Conor Empey and Ben Johnson all forcing good saves from Francesco Mitrotta.

Italy, though, hit the front from their second attack in earnest in the 26th minute when Mondo whipped home a penalty corner.

It made it 1-0 at half-time. The second half was one-way traffic with Italy offering minimal threat, often sitting with 11 men behind the ball, as Ireland piled on the pressure.

The breakthrough came when Callum Robson’s shot was blocked by Mitrotta into the path of Johnson who scored his first international goal – in his second cap – with a composed flick.

The pattern continued through the final quarter as Italy’s goal lived a charmed life but no further goals accrued, leaving Ireland to settle for a draw.

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Job Alert – Commercial Partnership Manager

#JobFairy – Hockey Ireland is recruiting a Commercial Partnership Manager to join our dynamic team.

Job description here: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/3098326825

Closing date 5 pm Monday 13th June 2022.

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Senior Women’s were awarded the team grant of $100,000 to assist with their preparations for Paris 2024.

Today, the Olympic Federation of Ireland revealed the recipients of the Paris Scholarships, as preparations are already underway for the Summer Olympic Games in Paris 2024. The scholarships aim to support the athletes in their preparation for Paris and assist in the qualification journey. Athletes were nominated by the national federations and are representative of a mix of Olympians targeting a second Games, and athletes targeting an Olympic debut.

The Senior Women’s team were awarded the team grant of $100,000 to assist with their preparations for Paris 2024. The team consists of both experienced players who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, and emerging talent looking to make their Olympic debut in Paris.

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Camp spaces filling up fast!

Our Dublin Summer Camps are filling up fast! Book now to avoid disappointment.

While our July GK has sold out, there are still spaces available at the one from June 22nd -24th.

Irish and Leinster goalkeeper coach, Riona Norton, will lead this camp. Riona is the current Goalkeeper Coach for the Irish U18 girls’ squad who are preparing for the 8 nations tournament in July. Riona is also the Head Goalkeeper Coach for the Leinster U16, U18 and U20 girls’ squads, and is involved in the Leinster U14 boys and girls development programme. Booking for the Goalkeeper Camp is open now and places are limited, so make sure you book soon.

See below link for details on all our summer camps

https://hockey.ie/event-page/ 

 

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IRELAND CLUBS WIN GOLD THIS WEEKEND

Both Loreto and Lisnagarvey win big this weekend and are coming home from the EuroHockey Challenge with Gold medals.

Lisnagarvey were competing in Copenhagen and had their final game against the hosts HC Copenhagen with a 7-1 victory. Matthew Nelson also came away as the leading goal scorer of the tournament with a whopping 9 goals over four games.

Meanwhile, Loreto were competing in the EuroHockey Challenge I in Rakovnik, finishing the tournament with a 5-1 win over Lithuania.

MEN:

EuroHockey Club Challenge I final: Lisnagarvey 7 (J Lynch 3, C Chambers, M Nelson, C Chambers, A Williamson) HC Copenhagen 1 (F van Oevelen)

Women

EuroHockey Club Challenge I final: Loreto 5 (A Taaffe 2, L Mulcahy, S Clarke, N Torrans) Sliauliai Ginstrekte 1 (K Raulinaityte)

A huge congrats to both teams and what an amazing achievement.

 

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IRELAND V ITALY – GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Tickets – Ireland vs Italy

After some test games against Spain, the Senior Men will play Italy from the 10th-12th June.

Friday 10th June – Time: 19:45 – Venue: Lisnagarvey HC

Saturday 11th June – Time: 15:00 – Venue: Lisnagarvey HC

Sunday 12th June – Time: 10:00 – Venue: Lisnagarvey HC

 

Tickets: €10 per match (adult) and €5 (child).

Weekend ticket: €25 (adult) €10 (child).

All are available to buy here: https://hockey.ie/buy-tickets/

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SOFTCO SENIOR SERIES AGAINST JAPAN | UNIPHAR U23 5 NATIONS

A week of international hockey in Dublin from June 18th to 26th will send the Green Army off to the World Cup in style

The National Hockey Stadium, UCD will host an exciting week of international hockey with Ireland’s senior women facing Japan four times in the SoftCo Series as part of final preparations for July’s World Cup.  

In addition, the venue will also host the Uniphar Under-23 5 Nations tournament with Ukraine, the Netherlands, USA and India competing, making for 17 international fixtures between June 18th to 26th.

‘Uniphar is delighted to be able to support a tournament that gives talented young players the opportunity to compete at international level at a great venue like the National Hockey Stadium, UCD. We’re excited to see how the home team fares, of course, but more importantly, we’re looking forward to seeing some fast-paced world class hockey,’ said Ger Rabbette, CEO, Uniphar.

Senior women’s head coach Sean Dancer is thrilled to get top class opposition in Japan, currently 10th in the world and two places above Ireland. They bring a fast, attacking style which will make for a thrilling series.

With all the hockey being played around the world, it has been difficult to host matches in Ireland in recent times so we are delighted to be able to play these at home,” Dancer said.

“It has been a difficult couple of years with Covid and the girls are excited to see home crowds and the legendary Irish support back out in force. 

The four senior matches are played on Saturday, June 18th (4 pm); Sunday, June 19th (4 pm); Wednesday, June 22nd (5 pm) and Thursday, June 23rd (7 pm).

The series runs in parallel with the Uniphar U23 5 Nations event, featuring junior world champions Netherlands and fourth place finishers India and the USA, Ireland and, significantly, Ukraine.  

The Ukraine team will be hosted by Ireland as they were not able to attend the FIH Junior World Cup in South Africa in April. 

Coach David Passmore commented: “Thanks to the support of Uniphar, this is ideal preparation as we head into the top European division in the summer and it is great to have non-European teams in India and the USA. 

“We are delighted to host the Ukraine team given we should have played them in South Africa and to show our solidarity with their plight.With numerous players moving up to the senior squad and others now overage for the summer, it’s the ideal forum to assess other players in a competitive tournament environment.

The 5 Nations will consist of round-robin matches in which three of Ireland’s matches precede senior matches and then a finals day on Sunday 26th June.

Hockey Ireland Interim CEO Richard Fahey commented: “It will be great to have full stands back to support our national teams on home soil after the difficult Covid period and this could not come at a better time for our teams heading off to the World Cup and European Championships.  

“We hope the hockey community will come out in force and get behind the Green and Junior Green Armies with tickets now on sale through the Hockey Ireland website”

Tickets can be purchased at  https://hockey.ie/buy-tickets/

Full event schedule:

Saturday 18 June

16:00 Soft Co Series Match 1:  Ireland Seniors v Japan Seniors

Sunday 19 June

12:00  Uniphar U23 5 Nations: Netherlands v USA

14:00 Uniphar U23 5 Nations: Ireland v India

16:00 Soft Co Series Match 2:  Ireland Seniors v Japan Seniors

Monday 20 June

14:00  Uniphar U23 5 Nations: USA v Ukraine

16:00 Uniphar U23 5 Nations: Netherlands v India 

Wednesday 22 June

13:00 Uniphar U23 5 Nations: India v Ukraine

15:00 Uniphar U23 5 Nations: Netherlands v Ireland 

17:00 Soft Co Series Match 3:  Ireland Seniors v Japan Seniors

Thursday 23 June

15:00  Uniphar U23 5 Nations: India v USA

17:00  Uniphar U23 5 Nations: Ireland v Ukraine

19:00 Soft Co Series Match 4:  Ireland Seniors v Japan Seniors

Saturday 25 June

09:00  Uniphar U23 5 Nations: Netherlands v Ukraine

11:00  Uniphar U23 5 Nations: Ireland v USA  

Sunday 26 June: Uniphar U23 Tournament Play-offs

10:00  5th v Ireland Development 

12:00   Uniphar U23 5 Nations: Bronze Play-off  4th v 3rd 

14:15   Uniphar U23 5 Nations: Final:  1st v 2nd

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Dublin Summer Camps

We are delighted to announce that Irish and Leinster coach, Noelle Farrell, will act as Head Coach of the first performance camp for 1st – 6th years in June (15th – 17th). Noelle is the current Head Coach of the Leinster U16 girls’ team – a role she has held since 2019, the Assistant Coach of the Irish U16 girls’ team and has previously worked as head coach of the Irish U17 girls’ team. As a player, Noelle has represented Leinster and Ireland at U21 level and she has also completed the Coaches for Europe Development Programme. Booking for the performance camp is open now at https://hockey.ie/event-page/

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Summer Camps – Munster and Connacht

Our ‘So Hockey’ summer camps have launched in Munster and Connacht!

For more information and to book a place, click here