Ireland’s first Under-21 men’s EuroHockey Indoor Championship II campaign ended with a sixth place finish in Porto, running Denmark close in the final game 6-5.
Coach Kenny Carroll says that while a big result proved elusive, with extremely limited preparation time and the newness of the experience, it was a good place to start as Ireland looks to raise its standard on the boards.
Indeed, Ireland were competitive throughout, pushing their more experienced opponents at different turns while Oliver Kidd was the tournament’s second highest scorer with 11 goals from five games.
** You can see all the goals here**
“Sunday was a big effort against Denmark and unfortunately we end up losing by a goal in the end in a fairly exciting match,” Carroll said.
“Through the tournament, we improved from match to match which is all you can ask for. We are playing teams who play a lot of indoor hockey and, all in all, it was a successful tournament.
“This team was about getting a team out there and competing with all the logistical difficulties and the preparation time. We couldn’t get indoors until October [due to Covid-19 restrictions].
“We had no issues with Covid which is great coming over and back. It will definitely make these players better and raise the standard locally. We have to start somewhere, our first ever Under-21 indoor team.
“We have another chance next year and should more and more preparation time with more younger players doing indoor hockey, they will get more experience going into the national setup. “