Ireland’s Hockey Champion Challenge

Ireland’s Senior Men’s Hockey squad fly out early on Sunday morning to prepare for their participation in Champions Challenge 1 in Argentina from November 24th – December 2nd 2012. The FIH ranking event in Quilmes will give the competing teams an opportunity to gain vital world ranking points while the winner’s will automatically qualify for the next edition of Men’s Champions Trophy.

Three of the eight teams competing in this tournament were involved in the Olympics in London earlier this summer, South Africa, Korea and Argentina. The tournament is comprised of two pools of four before progressing to a quarter finals play off stage. Pool A sees top seeds Korea compete against Canada, Malaysia and Poland while Pool B sees Ireland go up against top seeds Argentina, South Africa and Japan.

The Green Machine will open their campaign against hosts Argentina on November 24, followed by Japan on November 25 and South Africa on November 27 before the quarter-finals on November 29. The semi-finals and cross-pool playoffs will take place on December 1 with the tournament culminating in the medal and classification matches on December 2.

Ireland head coach Andrew Meredith named a strong and experienced 18 man squad for the tournament last weekend. Commenting on his selection Meredith said ” The Champions Challenge in Argentina will provide a great test for the team, in what should be an extremely close and difficult competition. I would expect that a number of the teams will view this as an excellent opportunity to qualify for the 2013 Champions trophy, and to gain very valuable world ranking points, and given the history of recent results, Ireland would be viewed as being among those teams. He continued “The tournament presents a very good platform for me to have a good look at where we are in terms of experience and positional coverage, in a challenging environment against quality opposition.”
Ireland Squad:

  • Christopher CARGO (Reading, England)
  • Peter CARUTH (Braxgata, Belgium)
  • Timothy COCKRAM (Lisnagarvey)
  • Mitch DARLING (Three Rock Rovers)
  • David FITZGERALD (GK) (Monkstown)
  • Paul GLEGHORNE (Instonians)
  • Ronan GORMLEY (Krefeld HC, Germany)
  • Conor HARTE (SCHC, Holland)
  • David HARTE (GK) (SV Kampong, Holland)
  • John JACKSON (Braxgata, Belgium)
  • John JERMYN (Royal Pingouin Nivellois, Belgium)
  • Stuart LOUGHREY (Bath Buccaneers, England)
  • Eugene MAGEE (Krefeld HC, Germany)
  • Geoff McCABE (Santander, Spain)
  • Bruce McCANDLESS (Banbridge)
  • Andy McCONNELL (THC Hurley, Holland)
  • Shane O’DONOGHUE (UCD)
  • Michael WATT (SCHC, Holland)
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