Monkstown and Hermes formally confirmed they will join forces for the 2016/17 season following respective EGMs on Monday evening passed the proposal.
The merger will see the two clubs continue under the Monkstown name except for the women’s first team, which will be known as Hermes-Monkstown for the first three years before becoming Monkstown.
The first team will continue in the EY Hockey League with, subject to confirmation from the Leinster Hockey Association in the summer, intends to field teams in Divisions 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 11.The move will see the club grow its junior girls membership to over 400, ranging from six to 16 years of age.
In a statement on the merger this morning, the club stated: “Both clubs came to the decision to merge because combining resources would enhance each club’s player development within a friendly family playing environment that will cater for men, women, boys and girls of all ages.
“In addition it will provide the local area players with the opportunity to compete at the highest level. The new club is committed to long-term player development in both recreational and competitive programs while cultivating a lifelong passion for the game.”
Hermes was founded in 1966 and went on to win four Irish Senior Cups between 1997 and 2006 as well as four All-Ireland Club Championships between 2003 and 2008, leading to eight European club appearances during that time.
Over 20 internationals have played for the club with five of the most recent squad for the Hawkes Bay Cup hailing from Hermes: Anna O’Flanagan, Nikki Evans, Chloe Watkins, Naomi Carroll and Sinead Loughran.
Hermes club captain Christine Quinlan said of the link: “We are absolutely delighted that both clubs have voted in favour of this exciting merger. This marks a new chapter in the history of two of Ireland’s most successful clubs and is the culmination of many months of hard work to ensure its ratification.
“We look forward, now, to working closely with Monkstown to ensure a smooth transition to a fully merged club and wish them the very best in their upcoming EY Champions Trophy playoff at Banbridge this weekend.”
Monkstown was founded in 1894 and, in 2008, re-established their ladies section. In eight years, the club has grown from one team to four adult teams and 350 junior girls.
From their perspective, Monkstown president Trevor Watkins said: “Monkstown is very excited with this new development that will allow all our club members a pathway to achieve their ambitions in our game.
“We look forward to using the creation of this strong platform to realise our goals by building an atmosphere of fun, friendship and playing excellence. Finally, on behalf of Monkstown, I would like to wish Hermes the best of luck in their EY Champions Trophy semi-final against Ulster Elks this weekend.”