The maverick striker returned from Australia two weeks ago, having just finished the Australian league season with Freemantle. During the season, Blakeney was called up to the West Australia Thundersticks and won the national championship (pictured) – playing in the same team as Olympians Kiel Brown and Bevan George.
Passmore helped Blakeney secure the club place down under and has been kept well-informed of the player’s progression.
Elsewhere, there is interesting recalls after a couple of years off the scene for Joe Brennan and Steven Redpath while uncapped Cookstown pair Keith Black and David Ames are also included. Iain Walker is the only goalkeeper and Johnny Jackson is vice-captain with Graham Shaw taking the armband.
Speaking about the men’s squad Coach Passmore’s explains his selection, saying “this squad has been selected for development and assessment giving a broader group of players the opportunity to impress before a panel is chosen for next year’s important season which includes the European Trophy and world cup qualification tournaments.”
Squad: Iain Walker (YMCA), Conor Harte (Pembroke Wanderers), Tim Lewis (Pembroke Wanderers), Keith Black (Cookstown), Joe Brennan (Glenanne), John Jackson (Loughborough Students), Graham Shaw (Glenanne), Andy McConnell (Three Rock Rovers), David Ames (Cookstown), Steven Redpath (Annadale), Johnny Quigley (Annadale), Geoff McCabe (Banbridge), Alan Sothern (Pembroke Wanderers), Jason Lynch (Lisnagarvey), Michael Watt (Grange HC), Mitch Darling (Three Rock Rovers), Peter Blakeney (Three Rock Rovers)
On that same weekend, Ireland women’s A side goes to Cardiff to plat the Welsh national side with Trinity’s Belgian-bound Ciara Murphy getting a call-up to the squad for the first time along with Railway Union’s Emer Lucey.
Armagh’s Amy Stewart and Stephanie Quinn have both been given time to let injuries heal fully and so have been rested.
Ireland ‘A’ Coach Guy Garrett is happy with the competition for his squad, and is delighted to have international opposition. “These competitions are very important for the development of our Ireland ‘A’ players. An opportunity to play a senior team is always welcome and we have a strong squad to compete against Wales.”
Squad: Aine Connery (UCC), Chloe Watkins (Hermes), Ciara Murphy (Dublin University), Emer Lucey (Railway Union), Helen Stevenson (Belfast Harlequins), Kate McConnell (Pegasus), Katherine Elkin (Randalstown), Katie Saunderson (Sheffield University), Lizzie Colvin (Armagh), Megan Frazer (Ballymoney), Michelle Harvey (Victorians), Niamh Small (Loreto), Rachel Mulligan (Armagh), Rebecca Dallas (Randalstown), Victoria Green (Victorians), Zara Delaney (Loreto)
Welsh Institute of Sport, Sophia Gardens , Cardiff
14.00 Ireland A v Wales (Women)
16.00 Ireland v Wales (Men)
13.00 Ireland A v Wales (Women)
15.00 Ireland v Wales (Men)