Meredith includes just six Irish-based players in first squad


MEN'S HOCKEY:The new men’s national coach Andrew Meredith announced an 18-man squad for the upcoming Champions Challenge set for Quilmes, Argentina which begins on November 24th. Meredith has selected his team following a five-day training camp in Holland where he had a first time look over the players at his disposal.

Just six of the players chosen play their hockey in Ireland with 12 competing in Europe or the UK. Shane O’Donoghue and Bruce McCandless profit from David Ames and Ian Sloan’s unavailability and are the two changes from last March’s Olympic qualifier.

“The Champions Challenge in Argentina will provide a great test for the team, in what should be an extremely close and difficult competition,” said Meredith.

“I would expect that a number of the teams will view this as an excellent opportunity to qualify for the 2013 Champions trophy, and to gain very valuable world ranking points, and given the history of recent results, Ireland would be viewed as being among those teams.”

The team, which narrowly missed out on Olympic qualification for London 2012, face hosts Argentina on November 24th, Japan a day later and South Africa on November 27th before the quarter-finals on November 29th.

In the Irish Senior Cup, Peter Blakeney’s hat-rick helped Three Rock Rovers to a 5-3 win over Ulster’s Kilkeel, while Pembroke, Monkstown and Banbridge all progressed into the semi-finals next March.

IRISH SQUAD:C Cargo (Reading, England), P Caruth (Braxgata, Belgium), T Cockram (Lisnagarvey), M Darling (Three Rock Rovers), D Fitzgerald (GK) (Monkstown), P Gleghorne (Instonians), Ronan Gormley (Krefeld HC, Germany), Conor Harte (SCHC, Holland), David Harte (GK) (SV Kampong, Holland), J Jackson (Braxgata, Belgium), J Jermyn (Royal Pingouin Nivellois, Belgium), S Loughrey (Loughborough Students), E Magee (Krefeld HC, Germany), G McCabe (Santander), B McCandless (Banbridge), A McConnell (THC Hurley, Holland), S O’Donoghue (UCD), M Watt (SCHC, Holland).

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