Irish men’s coach Paul Revington has revealed his squad to take on France in the upcoming double header scheduled for 24 and 25 March in Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club. Ireland will take on the 17th ranked team in the world (Ireland are ranked 18th) as part of their preparation as they continue to build towards a busy summer which will see them compete in the Champions Challenge II; Celtic Cup and the Europeans.
Revington has selected a total of twenty one athletes to compete over the two games; however both John Jermyn and Michael Watt were unavailable for selection due to exam commitments. Commenting on the impending games Revington said, “The games against France come at a good time in the club calendar after which our Senior Squad players will have enjoyed a series of tough games at league, ISC, IHL and Interprovincial level. All senior squad players will take this form into the games versus France. The squad will also enjoy their third training day together on Sunday 22 March in Banbridge in preparation for these games.'
France are often considered Ireland’s ‘bogey’ team, they contributed to Ireland’s relegation at the European’s in 2007 (Ireland lost 1-0) but Ireland regained their confidence in their subsequent meetings, beating Les Bleu 4-0 in the pool stages of the most recent Olympic Qualifiers and then 5-0 in the Celtic Cup last July. With a long history between these two teams one thing is guaranteed when they do battle, that is fast, skilful and competitive hockey.
Squad: Joe Brennan (Glenanne); Karl Burns (Cork C of I); Stephen Butler (Glenanne); Peter Caruth (Annadale); Timmy Cockram (Lisnagarvey); Mitch Darling (Three Rock Rovers); Ronan Gormley (Pembroke Wanderers); David Harte (Pembroke Wanderers); David Hobbs (Cork C of I); John Jackson (Loughborough); Gareth Lennox (Banbridge); Tim Lewis (Pembroke Wanderers); Phelie Maguire (Three Rock Rovers); Andy McConnell (Three Rock Rovers); Eugene Magee (Banbridge); Graham Shaw (Glenanne); Alan Sothern (Pembroke Wanderers); Keith Black (Cookstown); David Harte (Pembroke Wanderers); Geoff McCabe (Banbridge); Gareth Watkins (Monkstown).
Source: Irish Hockey Assocation