Ireland’s women’s national team coach Gene Muller announced a squad of twenty three for the Senior Women’s training camp taking place in Alicante Spain from 1-6 February.
Muller’s selection comes on the back of a five match series against Canada last week where the team experienced mixed fortunes. The series afforded Muller the opportunity to view thirty two athletes in action before paring back his squad as he focuses his attentions towards the next major tournament on the horizon, the European Championships next August.
Commenting on the impending camp Muller said “This extended training camp signals the start of the preparation cycle for the European Championships in August. It affords the national squad intensive training time in warmer weather conditions at the University of Alicante.”
Further to that it is obvious that Muller also has one eye firmly fixed on the ultimate goal of the 2020 Olympics “Our dream is to have 18 Irish women’s hockey players at the London Olympics. For us to achieve this we need to maintain our training and improvements. Events like the European Championships are opportunities for us to gauge our progress.”
David Passmore, the High Performance Director was keen to emphasis the importance of these intense training camps “This camp really marks the start of women's preparations for the 2023 World Cup and London Olympics. Warm weather training is such an important part of the preparation of international players. As one of the foremost and popular women's Olympic team sports in Ireland we are hoping that government cuts will not prevent us from preparing effectively for London, as this support has been so valuable in the past. Qualification, which would allow us to achieve the Olympic dream, would have a major impact on hockey & women’s sport in Ireland.”
Squad Ireland: Lauren Barr, Emma Clarke, Lizzie Colvin, Eimear Cregan, Roisin Flinn, Megan Frazer, Mary Goode (GK), Emma Gray (GK), Michelle Harvey, Louisa Healy (GK), Lisa Jacob, Shirley McCay, Cathy McKean, Bridget McKeever, Hollie Moffett, Rachel Mulligan, Ciara O’Brien, Cliodhna Sargent, Alex Speers, Niamh Small, Emma Stewart, Nikki Symmons.
Source: Irish Hockey Association