Fulton names Irish squad for Champions Challenge I

Veteran Maurice Elliott a surprise inclusion for trip to Malaysia

Pembroke Wanderers’s Maurice Elliott will be over 30 when he makes his Ireland debut. Photograph: Inpho

New Irish head coach Craig Fulton has named a fascinating squad for the upcoming Champions Challenge I in Kuantan, Malaysia with the uncapped Maurice Elliott an eye-catching inclusion.

When he makes his debut, he will become the first player to make his first appearance aged over 30 in over two decades.

Elliott, though, is well known to Fulton from his time with Pembroke, working together for four years. The striker was brought into his first training camp by interim coach Mick McKinnon in the past few months and has impressed enough to earn a full call-up.

Otherwise, Michael Robson and Matthew Bell are the two bolters from the Irish Under-21 panel that played in February while Stevie Dowds, Drew Carlisle, Philip Brown and Richie Shaw will all make their first appearance in a world ranking tournament.

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The majority of the panel sets out for Malaysia on Thursday and will be followed out later by David Harte, John Jackson and Chris Cargo who play in the Euro Hockey League in Eindhoven this week for their respective clubs.

Potentially, those responsibilities could run until Easter Monday. The eight team tournament itself gets underway on April 26 with Ireland taking on New Zealand in the first of three group games with Poland and Japan next on the list.

Ireland: D Harte (Kampong), D Fitzgerald (Monkstown), J Jackson (Captain, Reading), P Gleghorne (Instonians), J Bell (Lisnagarvey), R Shaw (Glenanne), M Bell (Banbridge), B McCandless (Banbridge), E Magee (Banbridge), D Carlisle (Banbridge), M Robson (Annadale), Peter Brown (UCD), C Cargo (Reading), A Sothern (Pembroke Wanderers), S Dowds (Banbridge), K Shimmins (UCD), Philip Brown (Banbridge), M Elliot (Pembroke Wanderers)