Ireland women’s hockey squad strengthened with eight new players
Several changes made to World League Round 2 winning team ahead of US trip
Ireland’s Deirdre Duke and Dalila Mirabella of Italy: The UCD skipper is back on the Irish senior women’s panel after leading her club to a treble. Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/INPHO
From the side that won the World League Round 2 in Malaysia, 14 players remain in the squad with eight other faces coming in for their latest series which sees them head to Spook Nook in Pennsylvania for a nine-day camp, starting on May 22nd.
Ellen Curran, a member of the Ireland Under-18s last summer, is the freshest face following a fine club season with Hermes-Monkstown in midfield.
Otherwise, the returnees have reasonably strong experience behind them. UCD skipper Deirdre Duke is back after leading her club to a treble, though she missed the middle stage of the season with a shoulder injury.
On the flip side, Cork Harlequins’ Rebecca Barry missed the EY Champions Trophy playoffs through injury and is not named in the panel nor are Lizzie Colvin and Cliodhna Sargent, who is pregnant, from January’s squad.
The US trip represents the main base-preparation block for the side ahead of their World League Round 3 tournament in July where up to eight of the ten sides could earn a ticket to the 2018 World Cup in London.
There, they will play the world number-five side three times as well as playing the US Under-21 side once.
“The squad are very excited about this summer where our number one goal is to qualify for the World Cup in London 2018. We feel we have a strong squad and will provide a good test to most nations in the world. This gives us a lot of confidence going into the summer,” Shaw said.
Ireland squad for US series (May 22nd-27th, Spooky Nook, Pennsylvania)
Ayeisha McFerran (University of Louisville)
Grace OFlanagan (Railway Union)
Hannah Matthews (Loreto)
Alison Meeke (Loreto)
Shirley McCay (Ulster Elks)
Yvonne O’Byrne (Cork Harlequins)
Lena Tice (UCD)
Zoe Wilson (Harvestehuder THC)
Nicci Daly (Muckross)
Róisín Upton (Cork Harlequins)
Gillian Pinder (UCD)
Chloe Watkins (Hermes-Monkstown)
Katie Mullan (UCD)
Emma Russell (UCD)
Anna O’Flanagan (Hermes-Monkstown)
Naomi Carroll (Cork Harlequins)
Nikki Evans (Hermes-Monkstown)
Chloe Brown (Ards)
Emily Beatty (KHC Dragons)
Ellen Curran (Hermes-Monkstown)
Deirdre Duke (UCD)
Sinéad Loughran (Hermes-Monkstown)