Meredith heads to Delhi event with strong Irish squad
HOCKEY:Just six of the 18 players chosen for the Irish men’s side to compete in the FIH World League Two event in two weeks’ time play their hockey with clubs in Ireland. The other 14 are spread around various clubs in Europe and universities in Britain.
The side is missing the midfield pair of David Ames and Ian Sloan who defected to GB, but new coach Andrew Meredith still has a strong squad who will depart Dublin for Malaysia on February 8th before travelling on to New Delhi where the tournament takes place (February 18th-24th).
Ireland will play three warm-up games against Malaysia, who they last met in December 2012, when Peter Caruth struck a golden goal to seal a 2-1 victory and with it bronze medals for Ireland. Former Irish coach Paul Revington currently coaches the Malaysian side.
Meredith has named an experienced squad following a training camp last weekend in Ulster. The Irish coach has drafted in Phelie Maguire, Peter Brown and the hottest goal scorer in the country, Alan Sothern, to the squad. While Brown has yet to be capped at senior level both Maguire with 103 caps and Sothern with 54 are experienced internationals.
Meredith has also had to plan without three of the players involved in the recent Champions Challenge tournament in Argentina, with Cork’s John Jermyn and Dublin’s Andy McConnell both unavailable due to employment commitments while Ulster’s Timothy Cockram is due to be married. “At this critical stage of the qualification process, our goal is pretty clear, with only the top two countries progressing to the following round of semi-finals in the summer,” said Meredith.
IRISH SQUAD: David Fitzgerald (Monkstown); David Harte (SV Kampong, Holland); Paul Gleghorne (Instonians); Ronan Gormley (Krefeld HC, Germany); Conor Harte (SCHC, Holland); John Jackson (Braxgata, Belgium); Stuart Loughrey (Team Bath Buccaneers); Bruce McCandless (Banbridge); Chris Cargo (Reading, England); Eugene Magee (Krefeld HC, Germany); Geoff McCabe (Santander, Spain); Phelie Maguire (THC Hurley); Peter Brown (Banbridge); Peter Caruth (Braxgata, Belgium); Mitch Darling (Three Rock Rovers); Shane O’Donoghue (UCD); Alan Sothern (Pembroke Wanderers); Michael Watt (SCHC, Holland).