Monkstown’s EuroHockey League opponents Daring have shown some impressive preseason form over the weekend with wins over both Bloemendaal and Oranje Zwart.
On Saturday, they overcame the hosts Bloemendaal 3-2 with goals from Corentin Desmet, Tanguy Cosyns and Argentine international Manu Brunet.
A day later, they saw off EHL finalists and Dutch champions OZ by the same scoreline with captain Geoffroy Cosyns netting twice and Tanguy getting the other goal.
The high quality series of preseason games also featured UHC Hamburg for whom Moritz Fürste made his comeback to the hockey pitch following a frustrating five months out with injury.
As for Daring, they were the Cinderella story of the Belgian 2013/14 season and, like Monkstown, are looking forward to their very first EHL bid following their run to finish third in their domestic competition, pipping Racing Club de Bruxelles to the post.
In an interview with Hockey Belgium, Geoffory Cosyns was content enough with drawing Monkstown: “We are happy with the draw in the sense that we wanted to absolutely avoid East Grinstead during the first round. And thanks to our status as top seed, we knew we would play some of the weaker teams on paper.
“If we fail to reach the second round of the competition, it would be clearly a failure and a disappointment. However, we must not forget that this is an appointment in which the Daring yet has no experience and we do not know all the opponents we will face Barcelona. But all the players and the club as a whole are eager to take part in the EHL!”
Four players have left from last year’s team with Argentina’s Juane Garreta and Juan Saladino along with Spain’s Javi Garcia and homegrown Gilles Vanderschelde moving on.
There is still plenty of Latin flavour to their panel, however, with World Cup bronze medal winner Brunet and stalwart Spanish international defender Sergi Enrique in the line-up as is former Terrassa goalkeeper Pol Gascon-Garcia Sala.
Tanguy Cosyns leads the forward line and the club welcome French Under-21 World Cup silver medalists Théophile Ponthieu and Inaki Alvariez (another Argentine player) along with Maxime Saussez, Alaric Dekelver, Tom Beirnaert and Julien Louis as part of a strong squad.
And they have shown they intend to make sure they are no one season wonder with a repeat top-three finish and a second season in the EHL a priority.