Craig Fulton’s Irish Men’s Hockey squad will travel to Malaysia in March as part of their preparations for this year’s World Cup in India at the end of November. The Green Machine will play a number of match series or tournaments prior to the opening day of the World Cup on November 28th.
In March, the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup awaits the team as they travel to Malaysia to face some of the world’s best teams in the form of Argentina, Australia, England, India and Malaysia. The tournament will run from March 3rd till 10th in Ipoh, Perak and with the world’s top two teams in attendance it will surely prove invaluable experience for the men in green.
The first home fixtures of the year will come on May 18th and 19th in Pembroke Wanderers as Ireland host world number 5 side Germany. In the 3 encounters the teams shared last summer there was little to separate them with each winning one tie and then splitting the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the European Championships in Amsterdam. Germany finished the year with a 4th place spot in the World League Finals that saw them beat England and the Netherlands on route to their bronze medal match against India, a feat amplified when considering only 6 of their squad were over the 100-cap milestone.
Two home match series in quick succession against France and USA make July a very busy month in the calendar. Ireland will play 3 matches against France on June 28th, 30th and July 1st , followed by 3 matches against USA on July 12th, 14th and 15th, venues for both match series will be confirmed shortly. The last two times Ireland met France it required a penalty shootout to separate the sides and in their last 8 encounters only once has a victory been sealed by more than 1 goal so the series is destined to be hotly contested.
The Hamburg Masters will this year be played in Dusseldorf by Germany, Ireland, France and Spain between July 28th-29th. The Green Machine will go into the tournament as defending champions following last year’s tournament victory against Germany, Austria and Spain.
The final test for Ireland before departing for the World Cup in India in late November will be an invitational 6 Nations Tournament in Valencia, with teams yet to be finalised.
Pools and fixtures for the World Cup in Bhubaneswar have yet to be confirmed and it is certain to be the highlight of the year for Irish players, none of whom will have played in a World Cup previously.
1. Jonny Bell – Lisnagarvey.
2. Matt Bell – Crefelder THC.
3. Lee Cole – Royal Oree.
4. Stuart Loughrey – Hampstead & Westminster.
5. Paul Gleghorne –Lisnagarvey.
6. Conor Harte – Racing.
7. Luke Madeley – Three Rock.
8. Sam O’Connor – Glenanne.
9. Stephen Cole – Monkstown.
10. Shane O’Donoghue – Glenanne.
11. J ohnny McKee – Banbridge.
12. Michael Robson – Lisnagarvey.
13. Seán Murray – Lisnagarvey.
14. Chris Cargo – Hampstead & Westminster.
15. Daragh Walsh – Three Rock.
16. Alan Sothern – Pembroke
17. Neal Glassey – Lisnagarvey.
18. Mathew Nelson – Lisnagarvey.
19. Julian Dale – Cork Church of Ireland.
20. Peter Caruth – Annadale.
21. Jeremy Duncan – Herakles.
22. Mark Ingram – Pembroke.
23. Jamie Carr – Three Rock.
24. David Fitzgerald – Monkstown.