Tokyo 2020: Team Ireland profiles - Women’s hockey team

Katie Mullan will captain the 2018 World Cup silver medallists in Tokyo

Team Ireland players, back row from left: Chloe Watkins, Michelle Carey, Sarah Torrans, Liz Murphy, Hannah McLoughlin, Zara Malseed, Deirdre Duke, Lena Tice, Sarah Hawkshaw, Sarah McAuley and Lizzie Holden. Front row from left: Shirley McCay, Nicci Daly, Ayeisha McFerran, Anna O’Flanagan, Katie Mullan, Roisin Upton, Hannah Matthews and Naomi Carroll. Photograph Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Team Ireland players, back row from left: Chloe Watkins, Michelle Carey, Sarah Torrans, Liz Murphy, Hannah McLoughlin, Zara Malseed, Deirdre Duke, Lena Tice, Sarah Hawkshaw, Sarah McAuley and Lizzie Holden. Front row from left: Shirley McCay, Nicci Daly, Ayeisha McFerran, Anna O’Flanagan, Katie Mullan, Roisin Upton, Hannah Matthews and Naomi Carroll. Photograph Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

 

Ayeisha McFerran

Ayeisha McFerran
Ayeisha McFerran

Age: 25

Position: Goalkeeper

Caps: 105

Current Club: SV Kampong (NED)

Has been one of Ireland’s key players for the past number of years and was voted goalkeeper of the tournament at the last World Cup in 2018, where Ireland won the silver medal. A professional player in the Netherlands, McFerran hails from Larne and is a graduate from the University of Louisville. Showed her worth again at the recent European Championships.

Lizzie Murphy

Liz Murphy
Liz Murphy

 

Age: 23

Position: Goalkeeper

Caps: 13

Current Club: Loreto

The Dubliner is understudy to McFerran, which in itself is a specialised role as it requires significant bench time. A student, Murphy has experience and came through the Irish Under-21 system. Also has European hockey experience with former club Monkstown and current club Loreto. The first player from her school, St Killians in Dublin, to receive international honours

Sarah McAuley

Sarah McAuley
Sarah McAuley

Age: 19

Position: Defence

Caps: 1

Current Club: Muckross

Another from the Avoca nursery and a Leinster Schools Senior Cup winner with Muckross, she is the youngest player on the team and earned her first senior cap at the recent European Championships in Amsterdam. Her composure, awareness and athleticism was enough to impress coach Sean Dancer and earn a ticket to Tokyo, having been drafted in as cover in March.

Hannah Mathews

Hannah Matthews
Hannah Matthews

 

Age: 30

Position: Defender

Caps: 152

Current Club: Loreto

The school teacher has been an extremely consistent defender. Unusually, in these times of switching clubs, she is a one club player and has been with Loreto since her school days in Loreto Beaufort in Dublin. She passed the 150 cap mark at the recent European Championships in the Netherlands. Dad Phillip and granddad Kevin Flynn both played rugby for Ireland.

Lena Tice

Lena Tice
Lena Tice

Age: 23

Position: Defender

Caps: 114

Current Club: Old Alex

From Glenealy in Co Wicklow, the student burst onto the scene as a teenager. A cricket prodigy, she became an international at 13-years and 272 days old, making her the youngest male or female at that time to play internationally. She then became a 2018 World Cup hockey silver medallist at 20-years-old. Successfully competed in the Aussie and Kiwi hockey leagues and now a pivotal Irish player.

Shirley McCay

Shirley McCay
Shirley McCay

Age: 32

Position: Defender

Caps: 311

Current Club: Pegasus

Making her debut in 2007 against Canada, McCay is the most capped Irish female across all sports. In June she played in her eighth European Championship. Tempted back after indicating the 2018 World Cup final was her last match by the possibility of playing in the Olympic Games.

Hannah McLoughlin

Hannah McLoughlin
Hannah McLoughlin

Age: 22

Position: Defender/midfield

Caps: 19

Current club: UCD

One of the newer faces in the side she began her hockey in the same club as Sarah McAuley - Avoca in Blackrock. She is one of three players who played at the recent European Championships for the first time. The delayed Olympics has certainly helped in allowing her to bed into the current regime and after a good shift at the Euros secure a ticket for Tokyo.

Roisin Upton

Roisin Upton
Roisin Upton

Age: 27

Position: Defender/Midfield

Caps: 81

Current Club: Catholic Institute

Another who came through the US Collegiate system, the primary school teacher is one of Ireland’s more experienced performers and a World Cup silver medallist. One of Ireland’s heroes in the sequence of shootouts at the World Cup and Olympic qualifiers, she scored in the London decider against India and dramatically against Canada in Donnybrook.

Chloe Watkins

Chloe Watkins
Chloe Watkins

Age: 29

Position: Midfield

Caps: 229

Current Club: Monkstown

Another key name in the Irish midfield and a World Cup finalist, she made her international debut at 18-years-old and is the second most capped Irish hockey player. The Monkstown player was injured in the Euro Championships and didn’t finish out the tournament. One of the creative sparks in the Irish team and another veteran of World Cup and Olympic qualifiers shootouts.

Lizzie Holden

Lizzie Holden
Lizzie Holden

 

Age: 31

Position: Midfield

Caps: 201

Current Club: Belfast Harlequins

A product of the Armagh Hockey Club, the Ulster born solicitor moved to Dublin to study at Trinity and won the Irish hockey League with Loreto. She featured in all of the games at the 2018 World Cup, fittingly as it was her goal against India in a World League event that got Ireland the ticket to the finals, where she featured in all of Ireland’s matches.

Nicci Daly

Nicci Daly
Nicci Daly

 

Age: 33

Position: Midfield/Forward

Caps: 194

Current Club: Loreto

Another multi-talented athlete, she has been involved with the Irish team for over 10 years and is another veteran of the silver medal winning team of 2018. A former Dublin footballer, she also drove as part of the Formula Female team in Mondello Park for its 50th anniversary. Her father Vivion drove Formula Ford and uncle Dereck Daly is a former Formula 1 driver.

Katie Mullan (captain)

Katie Mullan
Katie Mullan

Age: 27

Position: Midfield/Forward

Caps: 198

Current Club: Ballymoney

The Coleraine captain originally came from camogie and won an All-Ireland intermediate club championship with Eoghan Rua. She has since become one of the senior figures in the Irish squad, taking over the captaincy from Megan Frazer when she was out injured. Another World Cup silver medal veteran and a driving force in the group.

Sarah Hawkshaw

Sarah Hawkshaw
Sarah Hawkshaw

Age: 25

Club: Midfield/Forward

Caps: 38

Current Club: Railway Union

One of the new faces on the block, she did well enough at the European Championships in the Netherlands to hold her place in the squad and was one of the players who caused problems down the right side. A player who can run at defences and get around the back, she began life playing with school side Mount Sackville before going to the USA and participating in the US collegiate system.

Naomi Carroll

Naomi Carroll
Naomi Carroll

 

Age: 28

Position: Forward

Caps: 115

Current Club: Cork Harlequins

The Cratloe native came into last month’s European squad having been a reserve at the 2018 World Cup. Suffered an ACL injury playing with the Clare football team and began her recovery in 2020. Multi-talented, she also represented Ireland at soccer at schoolgirl level, where one teammate was none other than current Irish squad member Deidre Duke.

Anna O’ Flanagan

Anna O'Flanagan
Anna O'Flanagan

Age: 31

Position: Forward

Caps: 212

Current Club: Muckross

Another player who been in the Irish team for 10 years, debuting against Scotland in 2010. She is also Ireland’s all-time record top goal scorer with 82. A key player for the team and with pace, she scored against India and Spain in the last World Cup in London. One of Ireland’s live wires up front and a player the team will look to when they open their campaign against South Africa.

Deidre Duke

Age: 29

Position: Forward

Caps: 146

Current Club: Old Alex

The former Alexandra College player is another in the squad who excels at a number of sports and she played both underage Gaelic football for Dublin and soccer for Ireland as a youngster. Named as a travelling reserve for the Euros, she is another player who has a knack of popping up for goals. Her strike against England in the Euros was the official goal of the tournament.

Sarah Torrans

Sarah Torrans
Sarah Torrans

Age: 22

Position: Forward

Caps: 26

Club: Loreto

Went to school in the heart of Dublin at Loreto, St Stephen’s Green. She was initially named in the panel for this year’s European Championships but a late injury ruled her out. Has worked hard to get back to full fitness and earn this Olympic opportunity. Began life as a sprinter with DSD and won numerous national medals as well as an U-16 4X200m relay Irish record.

Zara Malseed (Accredited Reserve)

Zara Malseed
Zara Malseed

Age: 24

Position: Forward

Caps: 2

Current Club: Ards

The medical student is relatively new to the Irish set-up but was one of the players who showed at the recent European Championships after benefiting from an injury withdrawal. Scored her first international goal against Italy in Ireland’s final game. She thought her international hopes were dead until a remarkable rise over the last year put her back into contention.

Michelle Carey (Accredited Reserve)

Michelle Carey
Michelle Carey

Age: 22

Position: Midfield

Caps: 5

Current Club: UCD

The student, who came through Colaiste Íosagain, gained her first cap at the recent Euro Championships. Former junior Dublin footballer and niece of GAA president Larry McCarthy, she came through the age groups with twin sister Naiomh, and they have played for Ireland together in age grade events. Veered towards hockey from the Dublin minor panel in 2016.

Team Ireland

We profile every Olympic athlete who will represent Ireland in Tokyo FULL LIST
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