Banbridge man Matthew Bell, pictured, is in line to win his first international cap as Andrew Meredith made a string of changes to the Irish senior men’s panel for the upcoming Hamburg Masters tournament.
He is set to become the ninth current Bann club man to earn an international cap and is one of several changes to the Irish side that lined out for the World League round three in Rotterdam last month.
The tournament is a high quality one with Germany, the Netherlands and England – all of whom will play in the 2014 World Cup – the opposition from July 25 to 28 and is the key warm-up camp ahead of the Euros in Belgium in mid-August.
A number of young players are given their chance in the lead-up to August’s European championships, chief among them being James Lorimer – fresh from helping the Irish U-18s to gold in Gasawa – who returns to the panel having previously played for Ireland in warm-up games prior to WL3 in Germany.
Likewise, Peter Brown is back in the panel after a dose of the mumps laid him low for Rotterdam after he had impressed in midfield in India at World League round two.
Other returnees include Mitch Darling who is available again after work commitments stymied his ability to line out at WL3 while Bruce McCandless is back after injury. Davy Carson is back along with Stephen Cole, both members of the St Andrew’s All-Ireland schools winning side of 2008.
Stepping out is a wealth of experience with skipper Ronan Gormley among them. He has recently started an masters course that will allow him to stay in Germany for another season with Crefelder.
Peter Caruth, Paul Gleghorne, Timothy Cockram, Andrew McConnell, Stu Loughrey and Jonathan Bruton also move out of the panel for this tournament. Eugene Magee, meanwhile, has also not returned after missing WL3 with a knee injury.
Speaking about the tournament, Meredith is looking forward to testing his panel against some high quality opposition: “It’s an excellent opportunity to test ourselves against three of the top nations in the world, in addition to providing a great vehicle to build experience in an extremely high quality, competitive environment for some of the younger members involved in the programme.”
IRELAND senior men’s team for Hamburg Masters, July 25-28: D Harte (GK, Kampong), D Fitzgerald (GK, Monkstown), J Bell (Lisnagarvey), M Bell (Banbridge), C Harte (SCHC), J Jackson (Braxgata), J Lorimer (Lisnagarvey), P Brown (Banbridge), C Cargo (Reading), S Cole (Monkstown), B McCandless (Banbridge), S O’Donoghue (UCD), M Darling (Three Rock Rovers), K Good (Monkstown), A Sothern (Pembroke Wanderers), M Watt (SCHC), D Carson (Monkstown), P Maguire (THC Hurley)
Hamburg Masters Fixtures (all Irish time):
Thursday, July 25, 2013: Netherlands vs England 11.30am; Ireland vs Germany, 2pm
Saturday, July 27, 2013: Ireland vs Netherlands, 1pm; England vs Germany, 3.30pm
Sunday, July 28, 2013: Ireland vs England, 11am; Netherlands vs Germany, 1.30pm