Craig Fulton has named a panel closing in on 40 names to pick from for the coming months as the Irish men plot their assault on an Olympic ticket.
The side will play two matches in Crefelder, home to Ronan Gormley, in mid-May against the reigning Olympic champions Germany before taking on France twice in Lille later in the month.
They conclude their preparations against Belgium in Antwerp ahead of World League Round 3 in the latter part of June.When naming his enlarged squad, the national coach said: “The culture we are creating around the squad is one of healthy competition for places, teamwork and the belief we can qualify for Rio.
“With a month until final selection to WL3, the squad will train and play matches against Germany, France and Belgium in the lead up to the tournament.”
Billy Lynch is perhaps the surprise inclusion as he adds to the goalkeeping options in the wake of his epic performances in the Irish Senior Cup final with Cork C of I.
Lynch was previously part of Paul Revington’s extended panels but dropped off the radar during Andrew Meredith’s spell in charge. He is one of six goalkeepers on the list along with David Harte, David Fitzgerald, Mark Ingram, Stephen West and Jamie Carr.
Carr is retained from the most recent France series along with recent fellow debutants Lee Cole, Luke Chadwick and Owen Magee.
Tim Cockram is an important returnee having missed much of the international season to date as he became a father. Bruce McCandless also faces a battle to get fit after suffering a bone fracture in the Irish Senior Cup final.
Irish men’s panel: Jonathan Bell (Lisnagarvey), Matthew Bell (Banbridge), Stephen Brownlow (Glenanne), Jonny Bruton (Three Rock Rovers), Peter Brown (Banbridge), Drew Carlisle (Banbridge), Jamie Carr (GK, Monkstown), Peter Caruth (Monkstown), Chris Cargo (Racing Club de Bruxelles), Luke Chadwick (YMCA), Tim Cockram (Lisnagarvey), Stephen Cole (Monkstown), Lee Cole (Monkstown), Mitch Darling (Three Rock Rovers), Stephen Dowds (Banbridge), David Fitzgerald (GK, Monkstown), Maurice Elliott (Pembroke Wanderers), Neal Glassey (Mossley), Paul Gleghorne (Instonians), Kyle Good (Dragons), Ronan Gormley (Crefelder), David Harte (GK, Kampong), Conor Harte (Racing Club de Bruxelles), Mark Ingram (GK, Pembroke Wanderers), John Jackson (Reading), James Lorimer (Lisnagarvey), Stuart Loughrey (Cannock), Billy Lynch (GK, Cork Church of Ireland), Eugene Magee (Banbridge), Owen Magee (Banbridge), Bruce McCandless (Banbridge), Shane O’Donoghue (Dragons), Michael Robson (Annadale), Kirk Shimmins (UCD), Alan Sothern (Racing Club de Bruxelles), Michael Watt (Surbiton), Stephen West (GK, Three Rock Rovers)
May 11: Ireland vs Germany, Crefelder
May 12: Ireland vs Germany, Crefelder
May 23: Ireland vs France, Lille
May 24: Ireland vs France, Lille
June 6: Ireland vs Belgium, Antwerp
June 7: Ireland vs Belgium, Antwerp