After over 20 months preparation, the Irish ladies’s hockey staff should hit the bottom working at June’s European Championships within the Netherlands as they face World Champions and hosts of their opening recreation subsequent month.
It’s the first section of an enormous summer time for the staff culminating within the Tokyo Olympic Video games with the Euros doubling up as a key preparation event for the Video games and in addition offering three potential 2022 World Cup locations.
Head coach Sean Dancer and his squad go into the eight-team occasion at Amstelveen’s Wagener Stadium, bidding for a primary ever semi-final spot.
Eire meets the world primary facet the Netherlands on June fifth in a rematch of the 2018 World Cup ultimate. On June seventh, Eire face Scotland earlier than closing out the group phases on June ninth towards Spain.
Damage points have compelled Zoe Wilson and Barr twins Serena and Bethany to sit down out the summer time permitting a number of new faces to interrupt into the squad. Rising UCD star Michelle Carey is ready to make her formal capped worldwide debut when Eire take the sphere towards the Dutch.
A product of Railway Union, she has been an ever-present at coaching camps in Spain, Belfast and England and is one among three gamers making their first look in a world rating occasion.
Loreto’s Sarah Torrans will get her probability having been on the listing of reserves for the 2018 World Cup whereas UCD’s Hannah McLoughlin has additionally impressed coach Sean Dancer in defence in current collection towards Nice Britain and Scotland.
Cratloe native Naomi Carroll will play her first capped match for the reason that summer time of 2018, having taken the lengthy street again from an ACL damage, sustained taking part in women soccer for Clare. Since then, she was a part of the rejuvenated Irish indoor hockey facet in 2020 earlier than incomes her recall to the senior out of doors setup.
The travelling squad of 18 options 12 of the 2018 World Cup silver medal-winning facet together with Ayeisha McFerran, Lizzie Colvin, Nicci Daly, Nikki Evans, Megan Frazer Hannah Matthews, Shirley McCay, Katie Mullan, Anna O’Flanagan, Lena Tice, Roisin Upton, Sarah Hawkshaw and Chloe Watkins, who carry a wealth of expertise to the desk.
A lot of established faces will hit main milestones throughout the event. Nikki Evans is 2 caps shy of her two hundredth worldwide outing with Lizzie Colvin additionally hitting that mark if she performs 4 matches within the competitors, whereas Hannah Matthews is three caps away from 150 appearances.
Because of Covid-19 issues, the European Hockey Federation has allowed an additional two gamers to hitch the panel as “travelling reserves” along with the preliminary panel of 18. Deirdre Duke will provide cowl for midfield and ahead traces whereas uncapped Muckross participant Sarah McAuley is defensive cowl.
World Cup qualification for Eire is definite if the staff finishes within the prime three. Presently, Spain and the Netherlands are already pre-qualified. Ought to both or each of these sides end within the medal positions, which is probably going, fourth or fifth place may present a World Cup ticket.
“I’ll take pleasure in watching the skilled gamers controlling our play together with the joy of our younger gamers akin to Michelle Carey and Hannah McLoughlin,” stated Dancer
“The European Championships is a serious event with ramifications for subsequent yr’s World Cup. We’ve got made our goals very clear and can push exhausting as a bunch in direction of them.”
Eire ladies’s squad (membership/caps)
Ayeisha McFerran (SV Kampong, 100) – goalkeeper
Lizzie Murphy (Loreto, 13) – goalkeeper
Michelle Carey (UCD, 0)
Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute, 111)
Lizzie Colvin (Belfast Harlequins, 196)
Nicci Daly (Loreto, 189)
Nikki Evans (Previous 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) – captain
Anna O’Flanagan (Muckross, 207) – vice captain
Lena Tice (Previous Alex, 109)
Sarah Torrans (Loreto, 26)
Roisin Upton (Catholic Institute, 76)
Chloe Watkins (Monkstown, 226)
Travelling reserves: Deirdre Duke (Previous Alex, 141), Sarah McAuley (Muckross, 0)
Event particulars (all occasions Irish)
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
June fifth, 2021: Eire v Netherlands, 2.30pm
June seventh, 2021: Eire v Scotland, 11.30am
June ninth, 2021: Eire v Spain, 11.30am
June eleventh 2021: Semi-finals/relegation pool
June twelfth/thirteenth: Medal matches/relegation pool