The Irish Women’s Hockey squad was unveiled early this morning for the upcoming FIH World Series in Banbridge, which gets underway on June 8th. This tournament is the first stage in the Olympic qualification process for the Irish women, with the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals securing a place in qualification events for Tokyo 2020, which will be held later this year. It is also the first time the public will be able to see them play at home since their World Cup silver medal last summer.
The Green Army will take on Czech Republic, Malaysia and Singapore in Pool A, with Korea, Scotland, Ukraine and France in Pool B. The squad selection is as follows:
|2||Emma Buckley (GK)|
|10||Ayeisha McFerran (GK)|
Gareth Grundie, who has been interim Head Coach in recent weeks, will continue in the Head Coach position until the culmination of the series finals in Banbridge with Sean Dancer in attendance, as well as Arlene Boyles and David Passmore who complete the coaching team.
Speaking on the squad selection, Gareth Grundie said “I am happy to announce the squad which will compete in this tournament as the first stage in the Olympic qualifying process. Selection has been really difficult which means there has been healthy competition for places throughout the recent training block, which is great to see. We are looking forward to and excited to see what the next couple of weeks bring.”
Commenting on the selection, Anna O’Flanagan, one of Ireland’s most prolific goal scorers, said “this is definitely the most competitive irish squad I’ve ever been part of. We’re representing a much wider group and we’re very fortunate we’re the ones selected to do this. We want to go out and do ourselves, the wider squad and the country proud.”
2018 World Cup Captain Katie Mullan told us “As we take our first step towards Olympic qualification the 18 players selected for this FIH Series Final represent the 43 Green Army squad members who started this journey. We’re really excited for this home tournament and hope to play in front of a large Irish crowd. The World Cup was a starting point for us, and we’re keen to continue on this journey and stay in the top 10 in the world. This June tournament is an opportunity to show where we are. It’s a busy summer ahead and we’re eager to take it on.”
To find further information on the FIH Series Final tournament in Banbridge this June, or purchase tickets, please see: www.hockey.ie/buy-tickets/