With 2018 and an historic World Cup behind us, it is time to look to 2019 and what the Green Army have ahead of them. A home-hosted FIH Series Finals in June and Olympic Qualification the pinnacle of a busy year, there is also the Eurohockey Championships to look forward to in Belgium this August.
The Green Army have already completed their first camp of the year with a drawn series in Santiago against Chile that saw 4 new caps enter the fray. Next up for the squad is a 3 Nations in Alicante against Spain and India, both familiar foes, and World Cup quarter final and semi-final opponents respectively. England/GB will offer a tough test in Bisham Abbey in March under their new head coach Mark Hager, recently appointed from his tenure with New Zealand. The senior women will focus their preparation for the FIH Series Finals in June via a number of 3-day national training camps before Canada arrive to Dublin for a pre-tournament match series.
But on the immediate agenda, the squad travel to Spain for 2 matches against India in Murcia and 3 matches against Spain in Granada over the first week in February. The 26-strong team selected to travel see’s the welcome return of Shirley McCay and Lizzie Colvin after a break post-World Cup.
Speaking about the schedule for the year ahead, head coach Graham Shaw said “Chile proved a very valuable trip for the whole team, both experienced players and those new to the squad. It is important to spend time training together as a group and get international matches under our belt early in the year, so we are pleased to be going to Spain in the coming weeks to face tough opposition in both the hosts Spain and India. All three teams know each other well so we’re expecting 5 extremely competitive matches.
Bisham Abbey is always a worthwhile trip against one of the best teams in the world and this time will be no different. Great Britain will have played their first few Pro League fixtures at that stage so we know they will be a threat as ever, particularly with games against New Zealand, Australia and China under their belt in the previous few weeks.
We’re delighted to welcome Canada to Ireland for a home series and it will act as ideal preparation for our squad with the FIH Series Finals taking place just a few weeks later. Canada are again a familiar opponent and a side very much on the ascendency, we look forward to playing them in 4 competitive matches in front of a home crowd”.
Squad for Indian and Spanish Series:
|Chloe Brown||East Grinstead||Midfield/Defender|
|Katie Mullan||Club an der Alster||Midfield/Forward|
|Roisin Upton||Catholic Institute||Midfield/Defender|
|Sarah Hawkshaw||Railway Union||Forward|
|Lizzie Colvin||Belfast Harlequins||Midfield|
|Yvonne O’Byrne||Cork Harlequins||Defender|
|Zoe Wilson||Belfast Harlequins||Defender|
Schedule (all times listed are local):
1/2/19 4:30pm Ireland vs India in Hockey Santomera pitch, Murcia
3/2/19 11am Ireland vs India in Hockey Santomera pitch, Murcia
4/2/19 6:30pm Ireland vs Spain in Armilla Hockey, Granada
6/2/19 12:30pm Ireland vs Spain in Armilla Hockey, Granada
7/2/19 11am Ireland vs Spain in Armilla Hockey, Granada
Upcoming 2019 Fixtures:
10-14/3/19 Ireland vs GB (uncapped) in Bisham Abbey
24th,25th,27th & 28th May Ireland vs Canada in Dublin
8-16 June FIH Series Finals in Dublin
July Test Series TBC
1-9/8/19 vs Belgium in Belgium
18/8/19 Ireland vs England Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp
19/8/19 Ireland vs Belarus Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp
21/8/19 Ireland vs Germany Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp
22-25/8/19 Classification Matches Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp