Emily Beatty, Kate Lloyd and Elaine Carey are looking forward to a new challenge overseas in the upcoming season. The former duo make the switch from UCD to KHC Dragons, adding to the long connection between the Antwerp club with Irish players while Carey moves to Syracuse in the US.
For the former duo, the Brasschaat club has previously been home to both Graham Shaw and Joe Brennan who both part of the Irish women’s coaching setup, not to mention Stephen Butler, Eugene Magee, Shane O’Donoghue and Kyle Good in recent times.
Beatty says that, crucially, Shaw had “only extremely positive things to say about the club” and the move dovetail nicely with this year’s international commitments with the Irish women. They are set for Malaysia for World League Round 2 at the end of January. The Belgian league takes a winter break from November until February.For Beatty, she finished her degree in psychology this year and was looking to take a break from studying and pursue playing professionally. To that end, she approached clubs in the Netherlands and Belgium and got replies from Dragons as well as a Hoofdklasse side.
The Belgian club, though, quickly became the prefered option after conversations with them and Shaw.
“Needless to say, I spoke to Graham on a number of occasions before deciding to make the move, primarily because he is the Irish head coach and also because he has played for Dragons.
“Graham had only extremely positive things to say about the club and it was great to get advice from someone who has experienced it first hand.
“It has a fantastic set up, it is in a beautiful area, the staff and team are all very friendly but, most of all, I was extremely impressed by the professional approach that both the coaching team and the players take to hockey.
“Also, the coaching team has continually emphasised that international duty comes before club duty. The club also plays indoor hockey from mid November until mid February, which is ideal, because it will enable me to train with the Irish squad during that time.”
At Dragons, she was interviewed by Gilles van Hesteren who recently took on the role of Director of Hockey. He previously coached Genesis and Dublin University’s first teams a decade ago before working with HIC and AH&BC Amsterdam in the Dutch capital.
Beatty earned her 50th cap in June of this year against Spain. One of the fastest players in the Irish panel, she owes her speedy footwork in part to her days growing up as a soccer player.
She played for Templeogue United, St Josephs AFC, Peamount United and UCD and won a series of Leinster titles with Alexandra College. She was also a member of Leinster Under-15 and Irish Under-17 development sqyads.
“I started playing football from a very young age. I’m still a big football supporter and watch every United match I can with my Dad.
“Football gave me an advantage when I started playing hockey for Alexandra Colts because hockey and football have many similarities – the movement on and off the ball, the requirement to read the game, effective communication between team mates etc.
“However, when I first started playing hockey in Alexandra College I was, as a forward, pleasantly surprised to find that there was no offside rule!”
Along with Beatty and Lloyd, Elaine Carey is another player heading for pastures new. She is following the Irish pathway to Syracuse University as a graduate student, studying nutrition science.
“Elaine brings aggression, speed, and experience to the forward line,” said Orange head coachAnge Bradley. “With her feisty mentality, she is a forward who has great 3D skills and the ability to create in the attacking third. Elaine has a knack for finding the back of the net with her crafty skills in and around the circle.”
There, she will join former Irish underage international goalkeeper Lucy Camlin who recently made her debut for Scotland’ senior team after completing her residency requirements, while attending Edinburgh University.