The Irish Times have reported that Paul Revington is to step down as the Irish men’s senior coach by the end of June, suggesting the IHA will announce the decision in the coming days.
The report comes during a period of down-time for the Irish men’s team prior to the Celtic Cup at the end of June before a hectic 2012/13 series of competitions.
On the domestic front, despite reaching the Irish Hockey League finals, YMCA still face a tussle for a place in next year’s competition as they battle with Irish Senior Cup semi-finalists Instonians and UCC for the two wildcard places on offer.
Their respective participations have pushed out the season to this remote part of May, making the timing especially unfortunate for the students now in the midst of exam schedules.
Initial suggestions were that they may pull out but an agreement was reached to play back-to-back on Saturday in Belfield in an effort to limit the disruption to study plans.
They will hope Andy and Roger Gray can fire from corners for the Irish Hockey Trophy champions as they bid to boost Munster’s quota to three male entries for a first time. YM look the form team with Will Powderly back to play an influential role at centre-back with their quicker counter style a huge asset.
Inst, meanwhile, might be the main target for UCC but they have bags of top level experience with Paul Gleghorne adding a corner threat to his immaculate tackling.
Mark Irwin and Julian Lewis are combative influences while William Robinson and Chris Kirk add the dash down the right flank with John Watson probing down the left. Inst and YM are Banbridge-bound on Sunday for what could be a dead rubber should both sides beat UCC in the double-header.
On the women’s side, the competition has been reduced to three entries as no Munster side took up their invite to the wildcard event, again the lack of proximity to the regular season a major factor due to Hermes IHL semi-final berth delaying matters.
The IHA competitions committee will address this issue for next season but it narrows the odds for Galway in their efforts to give Connacht a first ever IHL place.
Hermes have the pedigree and, with their internationals available and a panel battling for a place in the European squad, are a side with plenty to prove this weekend.
Again, they will hope to have their place sewn up prior to a trio to Banbridge on Sunday to face Ards as Galway play twice in Belfield – Friday (8pm) against Ards on Saturday (2pm)
Electric Ireland Women’s IHL Wildcards
Friday, May 18: Hermes v Galway, 8pm, Belfield
Saturday, May 19: Galway v Ards, 2pm, Belfield
Sunday 20: Ards v Hermes 12.30pm, Havelock Park
Men’s IHL Wildcards
Saturday 19: Instonians v UCC, 12pm, Belfield; UCC v YMCA, 4pm, Belfield
Sunday 20: Instonians v YMCA 2.30pm, Havelock Park