IHL debate – how social media reacted

The debate over the proposed expansion to the Irish Hockey League sparked plenty of discussion this week, especially with the news that Ulster Hockey have requested clubs to stay away from the EGM vote until a better consultation process has taken place.

To that end, Ulster Hockey’s Executive Manager Angela Platt explained to The Hook the reasoning for their position and how this affects the Irish Hockey League.

“We wish to reiterate that all in Ulster are agreed that a change is needed at IHL level so we are not against change at all,” she said.

“We simply want to be consulted properly and effectively in the whole process. Our clubs also voted overwhelmingly to retain our Premier league in some format so that has to be a focus for us as an organisation. There has been a request from Ulster Hockey to engage with the IHA, which you will read in the attachment, but we have had no response to that request from IHA.

“Contrary to what rumours are now circulating, there is no other agenda in all of this – Ulster Hockey is firmly a part of the All-Ireland system and wishes to remain part of that system. We just want to ensure that all aspects of a player pathway are considered in this debate to get the right way forward for the whole hockey system in Ireland, not just one aspect of it.”

The debate has been ongoing on social media with plenty of views on Facebook Twitter over the way forward. Here is a taste of what people have been saying:

** Railway Union and Irish international Kenny Carroll and club mate Rob Abbott are firmly in favour of change

** On The Hook’s Facebook page, a number of players discuss the Ulster Hockey standpoint, some suggesting it is representative of their constituent club’s viewpoint, others believing their clubs would be better served by attending the EGM

** Travel costs are a major concern for a number of clubs with four to five extra journeys out of province per season set to add an extra burden on players

** Irish women’s assistant, Monkstown men’s and Rathdown school coach Graham Shaw queries the actual travel costs associated with an expanded IHL while also suggesting schools hockey could actually benefit from a link-up with the competition.

** The Banbridge Leader interviewed Bann coach Mark Tumilty who said that the current system in Ulster is not serving the sport particularly well in the wake of a 14-0 win over Belfast Harelquins.

** Niall Harbinson and Dr Bernouilli debate the merits of the democratic process currently being employed

Belfast Telegraph journalist John Flack – using the Twitter handle @ElcheIrishFans – has called on Ulster clubs to get in contact with their views

Seek and ye shall find; Annadale became one of the first clubs to formally post their views online

** For more on the IHL debate, check out the following links:

– Ulster Hockey call on clubs to stay away from EGM
– Cooper calls on clubs to debate future of Irish Hockey League
– IHL to host EGM on future of the Irish Hockey League

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