Launch of the National Umpire Academy and upcoming EHF/FIH appointments

Congratulations to all the Hockey Ireland / IHUA umpires, outlined in the table below, who have been appointed to EuroHockey and FIH tournaments / fixtures this summer.

It is fantastic to see some of last year’s Umpire Academy participants progressing on their umpiring journey. The 2023 – 2024 Umpire Academy launched at the EY Champions Trophy weekend in Banbridge (read more below). The programme sees 16 of Ireland’s up and coming umpires come on board to be offered mentoring and development opportunities in Ireland, and abroad.

Name Date Tournament
Fiona Davitt (academy mentor) 25-28-5/23 EuroHockey Club Challenge III, Porto (POR)
Rob Argent (academy mentor) 26-29/5/23 EuroHockey Club Trophy II, Banbridge
Sarah Craig 26-29/5/23


EuroHockey Club Challenge II, Vienna (AUT)

EuroHockey Girls’ Championship II-A, Zagreb (CRO)

Ellie Duffy 28/6-1/7/23 EuroHockey5’s Women’s Championship, Walcz  (POL)
Gary O’Connor 8-16/7/23 EuroHockey Boy’s Championship, Krefeld (GER)
Amy Jones 8-16/7/23 EuroHockey Girl’s Championship, Krefeld (GER)
Russell Donaldson (academy mentor) 23-29/7/23 EuroHockey Men’s Championship II, Dublin
Ali Keogh (academy mentor) 26/5-4/6/23


FIH Pro League, London

EuroHockey Women’s Championship, Moenchengladbach (GER)

Bruce Bale (academy mentor) 7-12/6/23 FIH Pro League, Eindhoven (NED)
Liz Clifford 26-29/5/23 EuroHockey Club Challenge I, Alanya (TUR)
Malcolm Coombes 10-15/7/23 EuroHockey Boy’s Championship II-A, Alanya (TUR)

The Academy launch weekend saw umpires receive coaching and development sessions with Ali Keogh, Bruce Bale, Fiona Davitt, Robert Johnston, Russell Donaldson & Rob Argent.

Speaking about the programme, Hockey Ireland Umpire Development Consultant Tom Goode said  ‘The launch of the National Umpire Academy marks the start of an exciting new venture in Irish umpiring. As part of this programme,  we will be encouraging the provincial umpiring associations to launch their own academies to work with their up and coming umpires. This will also require input from the clubs and the Club Umpire Programme is an integral part of this. Apart from increasing umpire numbers, it is also important that we provide umpires with the means to umpire to the best of their ability and to identify those who display the ability and commitment to umpire at the top provincial and national levels, as well as promoting those who display the ability and commitment to umpire at EHF & FIH level.

Some of our national academy umpires are already umpiring at the top provincial and national level and have also received EHF appointments.  We currently have 5 umpires on EHF umpire development programmes and are displaying a lot of promise. It shows what can be done.

Hopefully this is the start of something big!’

Back Row L to R: Luka Novakovic (Munster), Gary O’Connor (Munster), Aaron Donnell (Ulster), Aaron Saunders (Ulster), Victoria Johnston (Ulster), Sarah Craig (Ulster), Eimear Lenihan (Leinster), Emily Reid (Ulster)

Front Row L to R: Aidan McCullough (Leinster), Oli Brown (Ulster), Ellie Duffy (Connacht), Grace Nugent(Ulster)

Not in photo : Christina Coulter Reilly (Leinster), Amy Jones (Ulster), James Doherty (Ulster) Ross Jones (Ulster)