Men’s hockey: International return boosts interest in indoor game
Hockey Ireland aiming to return to the international stage for first time since the 80s
Perhaps it is a reaction to Hockey Ireland’s announcement that there is to be an Irish indoor team playing on the international stage that has raised the current interest. Ireland has not competed at international level in the indoor version of the game since back in the 1980s when matches were played at Loughlinstown Leisure Centre in Dublin.
Hockey Ireland placed an advertisement last month seeking to appoint voluntary men’s and women’s head coaches to lead the Irish indoor national team’s towards achieving its strategic objectives, to compete for medals at European Championships.
According to the Leinster Branch this will be the largest indoor season in recent memory as a total of 19 teams have been registered to play.
Ten men’s and nine women’s teams will take part in the tournament that starts on December 9th and runs until January 20th. From this group of players, especially in Three Rock Rovers, Irish players will emerge.
There will be two leagues for both the men’s and women competitions, which will be run in the gym at St Columba’s College in Rathfarnham.
It is a timely period to play the indoor as the outdoor season at national league level has just a couple of matches to play before taking a break until January 1st, when a full schedule resumes.
This week there is just one game between Pembroke and YMCA in Serpentine Avenue. Third placed Pembroke with home advantage should be strong favourites against their struggling neighbours, who have yet to win a match from six played and prop up the bottom with just two points.
For the home side it is a chance to bridge the gap to the top teams, Glenanne and Banbridge, who are both on 15 points and leading the IHL table.
Saturday – EY Irish Hockey League: Pembroke v YMCA, Serpentine Avenue 2.30pm.