The Senior Irish Men’s Hockey squad was unveiled early this morning for the upcoming FIH World Series in Le Touquet, France, which gets underway on June 15th. This tournament is the first stage in the Olympic qualification process for the Irish men, 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.
The Green Machine will take on Egypt, Scotland and Singapore in Pool A, with France, Korea, Ukraine and Chile in Pool B. The squad selection is as follows:
- David Harte.
- James Carr.
- Conor Harte.
- Jonathan Bell.
- John Jackson.
- Luke Madeley.
- Lee Cole.
- Paul Gleghorne.
- Shane O’Donoghue.
- Stephen Cole.
- Daragh Walsh.
- Neal Glassey.
- Matt Bell
- Sean Murray
- Eugene Magee
- Matthew Nelson
- Ben Walker.
- Michael Robson
Speaking on the squad selection Head Coach, Alexander Cox, said, “I’m happy to announce the team that will fight for an Olympic qualifier ticket. There are some new names in the squad in comparison to our last World Cup endeavours. The selected squad gives me the opportunity to use certain players in multiple lines which I feel is an advantage for us. The upcoming camps and practice games will be used to prepare ourselves in the best possible way for the World Series.”
In the lead up to the FIH Series Finals the men will play host to the USA and France with international matches scheduled against the USA on May 24th and 26th, and against France on June 4th and 5th. There will also be an open training session for media and fans to attend on Friday the 31st of May in Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, from 16:00 to 17:30.
Upcoming Home Internationals: dates & locations.
IRE V USA May 24th @ 19:00, Pembroke Hockey Club, Dublin
IRE V USA May 26th @ 12:00, Pembroke Hockey Club, Dublin
IRE V FRA Jun 4th @ 19:00, Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, Co. Down
IRE V FRA Jun 6th @ 19:00, Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, Co. Down
FIH Series Finals
The FIH Series Finals include some of the best teams in the world and are one of the roads to reach the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Indeed, the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals will secure a place in the Qualification Events for the next Olympic Games which will be held in October and November 2019. Le Touquet, France (Men)15-23 June 2019, match schedule available here.
Olympic Qualification Process for Hockey
The IOC approved Qualification System for the men’s and women’s Hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is as follows:
- The Host Nation – Japan
- The five (5) Continental Champions*
- Six (6) teams from the Olympic qualifiers
(*As Japan Men and Women won the Asian Games yet had already qualified as hosts, seven nations will qualify for each of the Men’s and Women’s hockey events at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 through the Olympic qualifiers)
Who will play in the Olympic qualifiers?
The top two nations in each of the FIH Series Finals**
They will be joined by the top four nations from the FIH Pro League
The remaining spots will go to the best ranked nations in the FIH World Rankings (as at the end of the 2018 / 2019 round of Continental Championships) not having qualified through either of the above events or as Continental Champions.
The seven Olympic qualifiers will each feature two nations playing two back-to-back matches, with nations drawn to play each other based on their rankings at the end of the 2018 / 2019 Continental Championships. The nation with the highest aggregate score over the two matches will qualify for the Olympics. If at the end of the two matches both teams have same aggregate score, the winner will be decided by a shoot-out competition held immediately after the second match. The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled for October and November 2019 and the matches will be hosted by the higher ranked of the two competing nations.
(**if Japan, Scotland or Wales finish in the top 2 of their respective pools, they will not secure a place in the Olympic qualifiers. Japan have already qualified as both host and winners of the Asian Games; for Scotland and Wales, the reason is that England are the nominated country for Great Britain’s qualification pathway. If any of these three teams do finish in the top 2, the team that finishes third does NOT automatically qualify for the Olympic qualifiers. Any such additional place is determined by the FIH World Rankings as at the completion of the continental)