Banbridge native Peter Brown is an eye-catching name in the Leinster Under-21 panel as the Ulster man swaps white for blue for the interprovincial series that takes place in Grange Road from February 7 to 9.
He is one of six UCD players in Rory O’Donoghue’s panel who are looking to retain the title they won in Lisnagarvey last year in dramatic fashion courtesy of a Shane O’Donoghue hat trick. In recent years, a couple of players have swapped provinces on a residency basis, Jason Lynch moving from Munster to Ulster in line with his move to Lisnagarvey.Seven players return to the side from the 2013 vintage – though it might have been eight had David Cole not been injured – with recently capped Jeremy Duncan and Ross Canning joined by fellow senior panelists Kirk Shimmins and Mark Ingram. David Watkins, Simon McKeever and Ravin Nair provide the experience which has quite a youthful look.
Harry Morris and Ben Campbell are both still involved in schools hockey while Stefan Gallagher, Lee Cole, Mark Loughrey, Sam O’Connor, David Kane and Brian O’Malley are only a year further on.
They will compete against Ulster and Munster as well as an Irish U-18 side that features 11 Leinster players. Commenting on his selection, U-18 coach Andy Smyth said: “The upcoming U21 Interprovincials are an excellent opportunity to have a really close look at players under pressure in a tournament situation.
“We have picked a strong squad from the U-18 Interprovincials and from the two trial sessions. We have selected those who have performed the best in all of these three situations. We are also delighted that we have so much representation on a few of the U-21 Interprovincial squads showing how strong hockey is at U18 level in all provinces.
“Due to this being a non-European year our focus is on development and therefore post U-21 tournament the slate will be wiped clean and all players named in the extended U-18 training panel will have the chance to compete for a place in future Irish U-18 squads for matches and camps coming up later in the season.”
Leinster men’s Under-21s: Mark Ingram (GK, Pembroke), Stefan Gallagher (GK, Avoca), Peter Brown (UCD), Kirk Shimmins (UCD), David Kane (Pembroke), Ravin Nair (UCD), Sam O’Connor (Glenanne), David Watkins (UCD), Lee Cole (Monkstown), Harry Spain (Pembroke), Brian O’Malley (Glenanne), Mark Loughrey (Pembroke), Simon McKeever (Pembroke), Jordan Sutton (Corinthian), Jeremy Duncan (UCD), Ben Campbell (YMCA), Ross Canning (UCD), Harry Morris (Three Rock Rovers)
Coach: Rory O’Donoghue
Assistant Coach: Liam Canning
Manager: Graham Woods
GK Coach: David Cole
Ireland U-18s: Jamie Carr (St Andrews/Monkstown), Keith O’Hare (Sutton Park/Suttonians), David Nolan (St Andrews/Monkstown), Darragh Walsh (Wesley/Three Rock Rovers), Jonny McCormack (Newpark/Three Rock Rovers), Jack Ryan (Sutton Park/Suttonians), Neil Byrne (St Colmcilles/Glenanne), John Mullins (Mount Temple/Clontarf), Ben McCrea (Wesley/Three Rock Rovers), Jazze Henry (St Andrews/Monkstown), Jordan Larmour (St Andrews/Monkstown), James Milliken (Friends/Lisnagarvey), Peter McKibbin (Regent House/Annadale), Sean Murray (Wallace/Lisnagarvey), Andrew Smyth (Drumragh/Cookstown), Chris Heath (Campbell College/Annadale), Timothy Watt (Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Daniel Nelson (Wallace/Lisnagarvey), Aaron Reid (Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Mark McNellis (Wallace/Lisnagarvey)
Non-travelling reserves: Clyde Buttimer (Ashton/Cork C of I), Richard Couse (St Andrews/Avoca)