Gareth Borland is drawing an almost completely new look Irish Under-18 panel for the European championships with just three players returning from last year’s team that finished fifth in Europe last year.
It is an odd year with just one year between the continental competitions rather than the usual two. This is a product of the change in Under-21 European dates to align more directly with the Junior World Cup.
Ulster stars Kyle Marshall, Callum Robson and Matthew Nelson were part of Andy Smyth’s side that produced an excellent performance in Santander.
There, they beat England, Russia and Scotland while they also fired three past a Germany side that featured Timm Herzbruch who was recently named in their Olympic squad of 22.
Emulating that feat will first of all see Ireland grouped with the Germans once more as well as the Czech Republic and Belgium in Cork.
The side features six Leinster players including four Three Rock Rovers men who played in the IHL regularly this term – Conor Empey, Harry MacMahon, Mark Samuel and Ben Walker.
Indeed, a large number of the panel have played a decent amount in the EY Hockey League this season. Monkstown’s Guy Sarratt is another having broken into the sky blue’s first team, lining out too in the Euro Hockey League. Clontarf sweeper David Power is the other blue to be named in the panel.
Along with Walker, Sarratt is among a group of five players who move up from the Irish Under-16s of 2015 along with Raphoe’s Alexander Tinney, Banbridge’s goalkeeper Luke Roleston and Annadale’s dangerous attacker Matthew Crookshanks.
The selection follows three test matches against Scotland at Easter where Borland was able to view his wider panel.
Ireland Under-18 (for EuroHockey Youth Championships, July 24-30, Cork): Conor Empey (The High School/Three Rock Rovers), Harry MacMahon (Wesley College/Three Rock Rovers), David Power (Mount Temple/Clontarf), Mark Samuel (Wesley College/Three Rock Rovers), Guy Sarratt (St Andrews College/Monkstown), Ben Walker (St Andrews/Three Rock Rovers), Conor Robinson (GK, Bandon Grammar/Bandon), David Jennings (Bandon Grammar/Bandon), David Lynch (Ashton/Cork C of I), Luke Roleston (GK, Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Alexander Tinney (Royal & Prior/Raphoe), David Rae (Southern Regional/Kilkeel), Matthew Crookshanks (Sullivan Upper/Annadale), Matthew Nelson (Wallace High School/Lisnagarvey), Andrew O’Hare (Wallace High/Lisnagarvey), Callum Robson (Sullivan Upper/Annadale), Kyle Marshall (Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Scott McCabe (Wallace High/Lisnagarvey)
Boys’ EuroHockey Youth Championships, Cork
Sunday, July 24: Belgium v Czech Republic, 9.45am; Germany v Ireland, 12pm
Tuesday, July 26: Belgium v Germany, 12.15pm; Ireland v Czech Republic, 4.45pm
Wednesday, July 27: Germany v Czech Republic, 3.30pm; Ireland v Belgium, 5.45pm
Sunday, July 24: Netherlands v England, 3.30pm; Spain v Italy, 5.45pm
Monday, July 25: England v Italy, 3.30pm; Spain v Netherlands, 5.45pm
Wednesday, July 27: Netherlands v Italy, 9.45am; England v Spain, 12pm
July 29&30: Playoffs and finals