After greater than 20 months of preparation, Eire hockey coach Sean Dancer is set that his squad will hit the bottom operating on the European Championships within the Netherlands subsequent month.
Dancer has chosen his strongest obtainable squad for the eight-team event staged at Amstelveen’s Wagener Stadium, which double up as qualification for the World Cup and is the beginning of an enormous summer time for the Inexperienced Military who even have the Tokyo Olympics in July.
Eire will face the world No1s The Netherlands in a rematch of the 2018 World Cup ultimate, with 12 of the 18 within the squad having gained a silver medal in London. Rising star Michelle Carey, the one uncapped participant within the panel, will make her formal worldwide debut towards the Dutch.
Carey, who was additionally an underage star for the Dublin women’ footballers, caught the attention at coaching camps in Spain and Belfast this yr, scoring numerous targets from midfield.
Cratloe’s Naomi Carroll may even be capped for the primary time since 2018, having suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) damage whereas enjoying for Clare footballers.
Nonetheless, Dancer confirmed that the Barr twins, Serena and Bethany, and Zoe Wilson will all miss out due to ACL accidents and gained’t be recovered in time forward of the Olympics.
Eire are bidding for his or her first ever semi-final spot at a European Championships. They may even face Scotland and Spain of their group. A top-three end would guarantee the aspect of a ticket to the 2023 World Cup.
‘It has been an extended, robust 12 months, getting ready for this competitors in a Covid world,’ Dancer admitted. ‘It’s a credit score to this group’s power to reach at this yr’s Euros with a really balanced crew. I’ll get pleasure from watching the skilled gamers management our play with the joy of younger gamers reminiscent of Michelle Carey and Hannah McLoughlin.’
Attributable to Covid-19 considerations, the European Hockey Federation has allowed an additional two gamers to affix the panel as ‘travelling reserves’.
Deirdre Duke will supply cowl for midfield and ahead strains whereas uncapped Muckross participant Sarah McAuley waits within the wings defensively.
Eire European Hockey Championships Squad (membership/caps): Ayeisha McFerran (SV Kampong, 100), Lizzie Murphy (Loreto, 13);Michelle Carey (UCD, 0), Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute, 111), Lizzie Colvin (Belfast Harlequins, 196), Nicci Daly (Loreto, 189), Nikki Evans (Outdated Alex, 198), Megan Frazer (Belfast Harlequins, 136), Sarah Hawkshaw (Railway Union, 33), Hannah Matthews (Loreto, 147), Shirley McCay (Pegasus, 306),Hannah McLoughlin (UCD, 14), Katie Mullan (Ballymoney, 193), Anna O’Flanagan (Muckross, 207), Lena Tice (Outdated Alex, 109), Sarah Torrans (Loreto, 26), Roisin Upton (Catholic Institute, 76), Chloe Watkins (Monkstown, 226).
Travelling reserves: Deirdre Duke (Outdated Alex, 141), Sarah McAuley (Muckross, 0)
EuroHockey Championships 2021 Group A (world rank): Netherlands (1st), Spain (seventh), Eire (eighth), Scotland (twenty second).
Group B: Germany (4th), England (fifth), Belgium (twelfth), Italy (seventeenth)
Irish fixture schedule: Eire v Netherlands, 2.30pm, June 5; Eire v Scotland, 11.30am, June 7; Eire v Spain, 11.30am, June 9. Knockout stage: semi-finals/relegation pool, June 11; Medal matches/relegation pool, June 12/13