Ireland well prepared for WorldHockey Olympic Qualifier
24 Apr 2008 12:48
Ireland’s senior women’s hockey team will begin their Olympic Qualifying Tournament this Saturday 26 April when they take on the number four seeds Malaysia in their opening game.
The preparations and commitment that has gone into this event by each athlete and member of the management is second to none and the biggest tournament of their year is now just two days away. The training that the athletes have embarked upon for the last six months has been at a level akin to that of a full time professional athlete (while continuing to commit to jobs and exams) and the biggest pay off for this squad will be a spot in the final on Sunday 4 May.
Looking at the preparation process which has included trips to South Africa, New Zealand and Spain in recent months coupled with their regular training matches and camps on home soil it appears that this is one very prepared Irish team who are up for the challenge that lies ahead.
The team who have been in a holding camp in Victoria, Canada since last Saturday (19 April) appear anxious to get the tournament started, speaking with Coach Gene Muller today spirits are high “I am very happy with our preparations including the last week in camp out here which has all gone to plan. At this point with the first match just around the corner we are anxious to get the qualifiers under way and off to a good start.”
Ireland played a forty minute training match against Canada yesterday as part of their session which saw them draw one all “the training game went well and the match was very impressive, it was only a forty minute game which saw us pull back from one down to level at one all” continued Muller.
Looking at the tournament ahead Muller takes a very logical approach “We are taking this one game at a time but we need to get ourselves into a good position early on so we are in contention towards the end of the tournament. In the first two games we really want to come out with at least four points, ideally we don’t want to drop more than two points and put ourselves up against a wall, we want to be in contention all the way through.”
Emma Clarke, Eimear Cregan, Mary Goode (GK), Louisa Healy (GK), Lisa Jacob, Jenny McDonough, Shirley McCay, Cathy McKean, Bridget McKeever, Hollie Moffett, Louisa Moore, Ciara O’Brien, Julia O’Halloran, Clare Parkhill, Cliodhna Sargent, Alex Speers, Emma Stewart, Nikki Symmons.
Source: Irish Hockey Association