Over a dozen members of the extended Irish men's panel will lock horns in the marquee men's EY Hockey League clash between Lisnagarvey and Monkstown at Comber Road on Saturday.
The summer leading up to the new national league saw numerous players moving in order to play at this elevated level. For 'Garvey, this meant attracting European bronze medallist Paul Gleghorne across from Instonians and Neal Glassey from Mossley. It added to their already impressive panel, joining up with Timmy Cockram talented youngsters Sean Murray and Matthew Nelson.
The additions have already borne fruit with a big 3-2 win at a fancied Pembroke side last Saturday and they have another big fight on their hands on home turf against Monkstown.
The three in-a-row national champions were also busy in the summer with new coach Jonny Caren arriving with Kyle Good and Jonny Bruton in tow.
Irish underage international Ziggy Agnew also moved from nearby Avoca to add to a formidable panel. Indeed, seven 'Town players took part in last Sunday's Portrane pitch opening between an Irish selection and a Leinster President's XI – effectively a trial match for the extended national squad with Olympic aspirations.