Paul Revington has named an extensive panel for his last two months in charge of the Irish senior men’s team with over 50 players involved in various phases.
The side will play Spain three times in Santander between June 12 and 16 before taking on the Celtic Cup – with South Africa replacing France this year – in Lisnagarvey from June 28 to July 1.
A core group of 32 players has been named with the uncapped Peter MacDonnell (pictured, left) the newest face. A back-up crew of a dozen players has been named who could be called into training panels.
In this group is the vastly experienced David Hobbs while Andrew Herbert is back in contention after a spell in Australia. Cookstown’s Keith Black, after a couple of seasons of injury problems is back in the international fold, having picked up 11 caps since making his debut in 2008.
Peter English is on this list along with former Avoca and current Glenanne man Stephen Brownlow (pictured, below) and Pembroke’s Karl Lynch. A trio of Lisnagarvey men also are a step closer to international calls after their IHL exploits caught the eye.
In addition, the remainder of the Irish U-21 panel – currently preparing for their European Junior Nations campaign in Bratislava in mid-July – will join up with the senior set-up from time to time.
As such, there will be plenty of chopping and changing throughout the summer with eight players unavailable for the entirety of phase one with Gareth Watkins, Ronan Flannery, Joe Brennan and Kyle Good all on the injured list.
Exams will limit five more players involvement while Phelie Maguire moved to Australia for the next four months to play for Melville in Perth, Iain Walker is in the US and others are taking personal breaks.
Explaining the large squad, Revington said the diverse range of competitions ahead requires having a range of options.
“Our team faces an extended summer period that will be split into various short, intense phases of training and games balanced by a necessary phase of rest and recuperation.
“The re-introduction of the U-21 team into Europe and then the start of the World League format in September offer exciting challenges to the squad.
“The squad being announced is very specific to phase one of the summer and will be an opportunity for the players to assert themselves again within the group and at the same time play a vital role in maintaining team momentum.”
Meanwhile, the IHA released a further statement, as iterated at last Saturday’s IHA AGM, explaining the sequence of events with regard to Paul Revington’s resignation.
He was approached, on behalf of the IHA, by John Dennism chairman of the High Performance Working Group on April 11 to convey the desire to retain his services for the next Olympic cycl.
Revington indicated he needed time to reflect and would respond to the offer following a holiday. IHA CEO Angus Kirkland and Dennis added that they asked Revington “if there were any aspects that he wished for us to look at that would encourage him to stay that we would be keen to listen and would do whatever we could”
On May 16, however, Revington informed Kirkland, Dennis and the IHA board that “he had considered all the variables around the role and felt that the time was right for him to move on”.
Kirkland asked “if there was anything that could be done to persuade him otherwise” but Revington indicated that there was not. The decision was subsequently conveyed to IHA chairman Dennis Millar who said there was “massive disappointment but the decision ultimately fell to Paul”.
The IHA rejected the claim made in last Friday’s Irish Times that the decision had lost the chance of gaining a potential sponsor by Revington’s departure, stating: “The IHA have not been approached by any sponsors with regard sponsorship being contingent on retaining Paul’s services”.
Men’s Senior International squad breakdown and fixtures:
Phase One: May 24 – July 5 2012.
Phase Two: August 13 – September 9 2012
Ireland Senior Squad (June-July 2012): David Ames (Beeston), Jonny Bell (Lisnagarvey), Philip Brown (Banbridge), Jonny Bruton (YMCA), Chris Cargo (Reading), Kenny Carroll (Railway Union), Drew Carlisle (Banbridge), Davy Carson (Corinthian), Timmy Cockram (Lisnagarvey), David Cole (Monkstown), Stephen Cole (Monkstown), Brian Doherty (Beerschot), Stephen Dowds (Banbridge), David Fitzgerald (Monkstown), Ronan Gormley (Club de Campo), Conor Harte (SCHC), David Harte (SCHC), Ian Hughes (Cookstown), John Jackson (Braxgata), John Jermyn (Cork C of I), Stu Loughrey (Loughborough Students), Jason Lynch (Cork C of I), Peter MacDonnell (Lisnagarvey), Eugene Magee (Dragons), Bruce McCandless (Banbridge), Andy McConnell (Hurley), Shane O’Donoghue (UCD), Ian Sloan (Cookstown), Alan Sothern (Pembroke), Clinton Sweetnam (Cork C of I), Mikey Watt (Santander), Stephen West (Three Rock Rovers)
Auxiliary players for senior training camps (May 29 to June 24): Richard Arneill (Lisnagarvey), Keith Black (Cookstown), Stephen Brownlow (Glenanne), Daniel Buser (Lisnagarvey), Peter English (Railway Union), Andrew Herbert (Cork C of I), David Hobbs (Cork C of I), Karl Lynch (Pembroke), Peter Purcell (Annadale), Ali Smith (Bandon), Tim Smyth (Cookstown), Greg Thompson (Lisnagarvey)
Players with long-term injuries and unavailable for Phase One: Joe Brennan, Peter Caruth, Ronan Flannery, Kyle Good, Michael Maguire, Geoff McCabe, Iain Walker, Gareth Watkins
Players unavailable for the full or part of Phase One: Peter Blakeney (work), David Cole (exams), Mitch Darling (exams), Paul Gleghorne (exams/work), Ronan Gormley (personal), John Jermyn (work), Stu Loughrey (exams), Phelie Maguire (playing in Australia), Ian Sloan (exams), Richard Sykes (personal)
Ireland Fixtures during Summer Phase One:
June 12-16: Three tests vs Spain (Santander)
June 28 – July 1: Celtic Cup (South Africa/Scotland/Wales) (Comber Road)
July 3-5: Tests versus South Africa and Belgium (UCD)