The Easter and summer programme of development (U23) and U21 matches have been postponed or cancelled due the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic. These included a trip to play Great Britain three times at Easter, a busy June period with warm weather camp in North Carolina which included 6 matches against the USA and a home 6 Nations Tournament (with Canada, Chile, Germany, India and Netherlands) at UCD. The EHF have now also confirmed the cancellation of their U23 six nations that was scheduled for Cardiff in mid August.
Commenting on the programme Head Coach David Passmore commented “while completely understandable given the current priorities we had put a lot of work into developing a programme for the year that would prepare a group to move into the senior squad post Tokyo. The health of everyone is, and should be, our priority right now and these measures are appropriate. The management team and I have been exceptionally impressed with the attitude of the athletes during the past 6 weeks and each has pushed hard to develop the physical side of their game under the auspices of our talented S&C Coach Orlaith Curran. We will give the athletes a short break once the lock down is over and then hope to start preparing for some matches in the late autumn once we have the domestic calendar confirmed”.
The 6 Nations U23 tournament planned for UCD 20-27th June will now take place in June 2021 and all teams have indicated they would still like to take part. The squad also plan to go to America in 2021 as was planned this year and discussions with US hockey are ongoing. With the Tokyo Olympics also moving by a year this will provide an ideal platform for development of this talented group of youngsters for the post games period. An U21 team has also been entered into the Indoor Europeans set for Croatia in January which provides a further stimulus for the group.