Ireland hockey coach Craig Fulton picks squad for World League 2
Ulster venue chosen to host World Cup qualification event next March
Ireland coach Craig Fulton: “The door is never closed to the national squad if performances warrant it.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Craig Fulton has announced a squad of 35 players to take part in the World League 2 event, which will be hosted at a venue in Ulster.
The World League, an event in its own right but soon to be scrapped for another format, is also part of the qualification process for the World Cup, which takes place in India in 2018.
It is an interesting decision by Hockey Ireland to select Ulster as the province continues to prevent its top international players from competing in domestic cup competitions.
This is because of the branch’s objection to some clubs participating in the Hockey Ireland-approved Irish Hockey League.
It is the league in which the top teams and the best players compete and the one Irish coach Craig Fulton watches to see young talent coming through.
“There have been some promising EY Hockey League performances which have solidified their squad selection,” said Fulton. “The door is also never closed to the national squad if performances warrant it.”
The 35-man squad sees a mixture of youth and experience, a combination that has served Fulton well, although now he will have to be thinking long term and qualification for another Olympics in four years.
It is a natural inevitability that some of the players in Rio will not be part of the Irish squad in the future.
With Rio in the rearview mirror, 2017 will prove to be as challenging as this year with the focus on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
The World League 2 is in March and Ireland must finish in the top three to progress to World League 3. From that platform the focus is on World Cup qualification.
IRELAND MEN’S SQUAD
J Bell (Lisnagarvey), M Bell (Banbridge), P Caruth (Annadale), C Cargo (H&W), S Cole (Monkstown), L Cole (Monkstown), D Carlisle (Banbridge), M Darling (Three Rock Rovers), S Loughrey (H&W), N Glassey (Lisnagarvey), P Gleghorne (Lisnagarvey), R Gormley (Krefeld), D Harte (Kampong), A Sothern (Pembroke), S O’Donoghue (Glenanne), M Robson (Annadale), M Watt (H&W), K Shimmins (Pembroke), G Watkins (Monkstown), J Carr (Three Rock), K Good (Monkstown), C Harte (Racing), E Magee (Banbridge), J Jermyn (C of I), M Ingram (Pembroke), K O’Hare (Pembroke), S Murray (Lisnagarvey), J McKee (Banbridge), M Nelson (Lisnagarvey), J Lorimer (Lisnagarvey), J Dale (C of I), S O’Connor (Glennane), L Madeley (Three Rock Rovers), O Magee (Banbridge), J Duncan (UCD).