Niamh Carey has returned to the Irish senior women’s squad ahead of the EuroHockey Championships qualifier tournament which will be held at the Sport Ireland Campus from August 18th to 21st.
The UCD striker enjoyed a spectacular start to her international career last October, scoring in her first and second caps in Pisa to help propel Ireland to World Cup qualification.
She subsequently took time out for a college placement in the US which ruled her out of playing in July’s World Cup but she has been back in camp with Sean Dancer’s panel to provide a boost to the line-up for next week’s key qualifiers.
It is the one addition to the squad with all 20 of those who played in Amsterdam available for selection with UCC’s Caoimhe Perdue included who has recovered from a broken bone in her hand sustained against South Africa.
“Niamh Carey has pushed her way back into the team, and it will be exciting to see her and [twin sister] Michelle, back in action connecting with each other on the field,” said coach Sean Dancer of her return.
“We continue to have a good balance of experience and youth, with speed and skill, that will be important for us over the whole field to play the style of play we want.
Ireland take on world number 27 side Poland in their first game next Thursday at 7.30pm to start the four-team round-robin competition from which only the winner will play in Europe’s top tier in 2023.
They will follow up with a tie against the Czech Republic (ranked 23rd) on Saturday, August 20th (1pm) before completing the series against Turkey (33rd) on Sunday, August 21st (1pm).
At 14th in the world, Ireland are the favourites on paper and will be keen to use a strong home advantage to bolster their performances just a month after their 11th place finish at the World Cup.
“The Dublin Europeans is an important tournament for this group and we need to rise to the challenge and expectations of winning next week,” Dancer added.
“The World Cup experience overall was tough but also an excellent opportunity to progress our game. We have worked hard in our review period, and made the adjustments we feel we need.
“Playing important games at home can be a great experience for a team and we are hoping to have a lot of support from the ‘Green Army’ fans as we know they will do.”
To make sure you are part of the action, tickets are available via https://bit.ly/EHCQ_Tkts.
Irish women’s squad for EuroHockey Championship qualifiers (August 18th to 21st at the Sport Ireland Campus)
Ayeisha McFerran (SV Kampong, 118)
Elizabeth Murphy (Loreto, 13)
Róisín Upton (vice-captain, Catholic Institute, 94)
Lena Tice (Old Alex, 127)
Katie Mullan (Ballymoney, 211)
Sarah Hawkshaw (Railway Union, 51)
Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute, 126)
Hannah McLoughlin (UCD, 31)
Sarah McAuley (UCD, 14)
Michelle Carey (UCD, 15)
Charlotte Beggs (Ulster Elks, 5)
Katie McKee (Pegasus, 5)
Ellen Curran (Pembroke, 32)
Christina Hamill (Loreto, 5)
Sarah Torrans (Loreto, 38)
Caoimhe Perdue (UCC, 4)
Deirdre Duke (Old Alex, 159)
Niamh Carey (UCD, 3)
Zara Malseed (Ards, 12)
Síofra O’Brien (Loreto, 1)
Erin Getty (Queen’s, 11)
Holly Micklem (Old Alex, 0)
Ellie McLoughlin (UCD, 0)
Czech Republic v Turkey, 5.15pm
Ireland v Poland, 7.30pm
Poland v Turkey, 10.45am
Ireland v Czech Republic, 1pm
Poland v Czech Republic, 10.45am
Ireland v Turkey, 1pm