Ireland’s U-16 boys and girls begin their European campaign on Thursday, heading to Vienna and Valencia respectively.
The boys start their campaign with a key game against a highly rated Belgium side before meeting Belarus on Friday and Spain on Saturday.
The make-up of the tournament sees the top team in each group going forward to the final and second place bound for the bronze medal match. The bottom two in each group, though, take on crossover, relegation matches on Sunday as the competition has been reduced from five days of hockey to four.
Nine Leinster players are included with Monkstown trio David Nolan, Jazze Henry and Jamie Carr named along with duos from Three Rock and Suttonians – the former having defensive duo Luke Madeley and Ben McCrea while Gavin O’Brien and Jack Ryan are in from Sutton. Hugh Lavery means both goalkeepers come the blue province while Neil Byrne is another Glenanne representative.
On the girl’s side, after a good warm-up series last weekend, with a couple of wins over Scotland, Una McCarthy’s side start off against Italy before meeting tournament favourites the Netherlands on Friday.
The Czech Republic close out the group phase for a side which features the midfield stylings of Amber Gleeson, sharp-shooting Anna Roopnarinesingh and Sara Quill in what looks an impressive line-up.
At U-18 level, the boys and girls are also on their travels, heading to Edinburgh to play in their version of the Celtic Cup. It is the first outing of the summer for Graham Shaw’s boys. Recent Irish U-21 pair Kirk Shimmins and Jeremy Duncan are among the players to return to the selection for a second season with Ross Canning another back again.
Leinster senior cup champions St Andrew’s provide three players in the form of Lee Cole, Mark Loughrey and Ravin Nair included as part of a group of seven Leinster players.
Avoca netminder Stefan Gallagher completes the blue quarter while there is also a couple from Banbridge Academy, All-Ireland schools champs this year – Peter Brown and Ben Cosgrove.
The girls side has been busy of late, playing a series against Germany and Scotland to provide good base level training together for next year’s Euros.
Katie Mullan already has U-18 experience and has shown a powerful presence and a hunger for goals, beautifully epitomised last weekend in game two against Scotland with a superb turn and flick.
Elaine Carey is another pace and trickery to burn while many of the Leinster players have already shown some of their talent in adult hockey. Emma Russell top-scored for Old Alex firsts, Sarah Hawkshaw netted four times in a Jacqui Potter Cup match while Jessica McGirr and Kate Lloyd have been regular performers for Loreto and Railway, respectively, at the top level.
Ireland U-18 boys: Matthew Allister (Sullivan Upper/Annadale), Peter Brown (Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Ross Canning (St Columba’s/Three Rock Rovers), Lee Cole (St Andrew’s/Monkstown), Ben Cosgrove (Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Jeremy Duncan (Kilkenny College/Railway Union), Stefan Gallagher (Newpark/Avoca), Justin Hool (Campbell College/Annadale), Mark Loughrey (St Andrew’s/Pembroke), Richard Lynch (Ashton/Cork C of I), Andrew McWhirter (South West College/Cookstown), Ravin Nair (St Andrew’s/Railway Union), Connor Roberts (Sullivan Upper/Annadale), Michael Robson (Sullivan Upper/Annadale), Kirk Shimmins (Wesley College/Pembroke), Scott Sullivan (Bandon/Bandon), Gary Wilkinson (Ashton/Cork C of I)
Coach: Graham Shaw, Manager: Mark Murray, Assistant Coach: Jonny Caren, Video Analyst: Gareth Evans, Physio: Marianne Butler, S&C: Sean McKeon
U-18 Boys Celtic Cup – Friday, July 6: Ireland vs Wales, 4pm; Switzerland vs Scotland, 6pm; Saturday, July 7: Switzerland vs Wales, 10am; Scotland vs Ireland, 2pm; Sunday, July 8: Switzerland vs Ireland, 9am; Scotland vs Wales, 1pm
Ireland U-18 Girls: Natasha Cooke (Colaiste Iognaid/Galway), Lucy Camlin (Ballyclare HS/Pegasus), Bethany Barr (Lurgan College/Lurgan), Amy Cooke (Ballyclare HS/Pegasus), Robyn Chambers (Rainey/Ballymoney), Katie Mullan (Dalriada/Ballymoney), Elaine Carey (Colaiste Iognaid/Galway), Claire Foley (St Gerards), Hannah Grieve (Lurgan College/Lurgan), Chloe Brown (SE Regional College/Ards), Sarah Hawkshaw (Mount Sackville/Railway Union), Emma Russell (Holy Child, Killiney/Old Alex), Hannah McDermott (Alexandra College/Old Alex), Jessica McGirr (Loreto Beaufort/Loreto), Kate Lloyd (Loreto, Dalkey/Railway Union), Amanda Haslam (Kilkenny College/Tullamore), Abby Oakes (Mount Mercy/Cork Harlequins), Millie O’Donnell (Alexandra College/Old Alex)
Head Coach: Richie Malone, Manager: Linda Ingram, Assistant Coach/GK: Mary Goode, Video: Mark Egner, Physio: Anne-Marie Byrne, S&C: Gerry Heaney
U-18 Girls Celtic Cup – Friday, July 6: Ireland vs Wales, 4.30pm; Switzerland vs Scotland, 6.30pm, Saturday, July 7: Switzerland vs Wales, 12pm; Scotland vs Ireland, 4pm, Sunday, July 8: Switzerland vs Ireland, 11am; Scotland vs Wales, 3pm
Electric Ireland under 16 Girls: Aisling Cronin (Loreto Wexford), Emma Duncan (Kilkenny College/Old Alex), Edel Nyland (Ursline Convent, Thurles/Catholic Institute), Clodagh Moloney (Crescent Comprehensive/Catholic Institue), Eimear Ryan (Laurel Hill Colaiste/Catholic Institute), Amber Gleeson (Alexandra College/Old Alex), Jenna Volpert (Isle of Man/Hermes), Rachel Gray (Alexandra College/Old Alex), Anna Roopnarinesingh (Alexandra College/Old Alex), Sara Quill (Wesley College/Corinthian), Elena Tice (St Gerards), Sarah Patton (Loreto Dalkey/Hermes), Ayeshia Mc Ferran (Larne Grammar/Randalstown), Kathryn Edgar (Tandragee JH/Lurgan), Emma Kernoghan (Ballymena Academy/Ballymena), Ruth Maguire (Larne Grammar/Ballymena), Zoe Wilson (Ballyclare High/Randalstown), Naomi Costley (Lurgan College/Lurgan)
Coach: Una McCarthy, Manager: Cathy Brock, Assistant Coach: Kym Daly, GK Coach: Michelle McMillan, Physio: Laura Wilson, Video: Denise McCarthy
European U-16 Championships schedule (Valencia) – Thursday, July 5: Ireland v Italy, 9am; Friday, July 6: Ireland v Netherlands, 9am; Saturday, July 7: Ireland v Czech Republic, 9am
Under 16 Boys: James Carr (St Andrews/Monkstown), Hugh Lavery (Sandford Park/Pembroke), Luke Madeley (Wesley/TRR), Matthew Sullivan (Friends/Lisnagarvey), Peter McKibbin (Regent House), Ben McCrea (Wesley/TRR), Jazze Henry (St Andrews/Monkstown), John McKee (Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Alex Burns (Midleton/Cork C of I), Simon Wolfe (Ashton/Cork C of I), Jack Wilson (Wallace/Lisnagarvey), Jack Henderson (Friends/Lisnagarvey), Andrew Smyth (Drumragh/Cookstown), Neil Byrne (St. Colmcille’s/Glenanne), David Nolan (St Andrew’s/Monkstown), Gavin O’Brien (Sutton Park/Suttonians), Rowan Poots (Regent House/North Down), Jack Ryan (Sutton Park/Suttonians)
Coach: Miles Warren, Manager: Fraser Mills, Assistant Coach: Ricky Lee, GK Coach: Ian Hughes, Physio: John Trainor, S&C: Julie Garvey
European U-16 Championships (Vienna)
Thursday, July 5: Ireland v Belgium, 11am; Friday, July 6: Ireland v Belarus, 11am; Saturday, July 7: Ireland v Spain, 1pm