Shaw selects youthful squad for Ireland’s trip to Spain

Six of under-21 panel called up last month retained for games against Spain and Belgium

Graham Shaw has selected another youthful squad for Ireland’s trip to Spain this November, with six of the under-21 panel called up for last month’s games against Scotland retained for the three-nation series against the Spanish and Belgium.

Goalkeeper Emma Buckley (Cork Harlequins), Ellen Curran (Monkstown), Erin Getty (Randalstown), Jessica McMaster (Queens) and Loreto pair Hannah McLoughlin and Sarah Torrans are all included again as Shaw tests out his options in the build-up to next summer’s World Cup. Teenagers McLoughlin and Torrans in particular both impressing on their senior debuts against the Scots.

Three of the squad’s more experienced European-based players, Bloemendaal’s Anna O’Flanagan and Chloe Watkins and Hamburg’s Nikki Evans, return for the four games, two each against Spain and Belgium, as does Railway Union goalkeeper Grace O’Flanagan, but Katie Mullan, Gillian Pinder and Roisin Upton are all rested.

In all 15 of the squad – fitness permitting – will be in Hockey League action this weekend.


Second placed Cork Harlequins are on their travels yet again when they take on Pembroke Wanderers in Saturday’s only game.

Sunday’s fixtures see leaders UCD take on unbeaten Railway Union at Park Avenue, while Pegasus, in third, visit bottom club Monkstown. Loreto and Trinity both head north for their games, Loreto meeting Ards and the students taking on Belfast Harlequins.

IRISH SQUAD: E Buckley, Y O'Byrne, N Carroll, R Barry (all Cork Harlequins), L Tice, E Curran, D Duke, E Russell (all UCD), H McLoughlin, A Meeke, S Torrans (all Loreto), Z Wilson, L Colvin (both Belfast Harlequins), C Watkins, A O'Flanagan (both Bloemendaal), E Getty, J McMaster (both Queens), C Brown (Ards), G O'Flanagan (Railway Union), N Evans (UHC Hamburg).

HOCKEY LEAGUE: Saturday; Pembroke Wanderers v Cork Harlequins, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30. Sunday; Ards v Loreto, Ards Park, 2.0; Belfast Harlequins v Trinity, Deramore Park, 2.0; Monkstown v Pegasus, Rathdown, 2.30; Railway Union v UCD, Park Avenue, 2.40.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times