High expectations set for Ireland Senior Women Hockey Team

Dublin, August 16th: High expectations have been set for the Ireland Senior Women Hockey Team as they make final preparations for their opening game of the EuroHockey Championships 2023 against England this Friday August 18th in Moenchengladbach, Germany. This is the elite level tournament for women in Europe.

Ireland (world ranking 13th) have been drawn in Pool B and will play England (world ranking 6th), Scotland (world ranking 18th) and Germany (world ranking 4th) in the first phase of the tournament. A total of eight teams will compete across two pools, with the top two in each pool qualify for the semi-finals.

Importantly, a top six finish for Ireland will secure a spot in next January’s Olympic Qualification groups in Spain or China and would also secure Ireland’s place in the 2025 European Championships in the first tier of nations.

Speaking ahead of the tournament Head coach Sean Dancer said:

“As a group we have made fantastic improvements over the past 12 months on and off the field and we have high ambitions, knowing the tough challenge of a very competitive European Championship. This year’s European’s also doubles as the first step of the Olympic Qualification process, adding extra pressure on all those involved. We will need to stay focused on ourselves and playing our attacking style of play.

Ireland captain Katie Mullan was confident that the preparations for this tournament had gone very well:

“We have played against the top 3 ranked nations in the World earlier this year, having taken on Argentina a few months ago and the Dutch a few weeks ago and we got our best result in recent years against the Netherlands. Five of the top ten highest nations in the World rankings are taking part in the tournament so it will be a real challenge for us but we feel we are ready to face that challenge. Looking at the Pool opponents themselves we also play regularly against England, Scotland and Germany either in friendlies or competitively, so we know each other well. This group of players will be ready for the challenge that we face starting on Friday.”

Ireland’s Pool B campaign begins on Friday 18th August 2023 with an afternoon match starting at 17:00 CET (16:00 Irish Time) with an opener against England. They are back in action the following evening Saturday 19th August against Scotland at 20:15 CET (19:15 Irish Time)  and the group stages final game takes place on Tuesday 22nd August against Germany at 19:30 CET (18:30 Irish Time). The Ireland games will all be shown online at www.eurohockeytv.org  details on how to subscribe are available on the EHF website www.eurohockey.org and www.premiersportsireland.com