The new Grand Masters Hockey Ireland Association was officially formed on April 23, 2017 with elected officers: Robert Haughton President, Sean Curran Chair and Crawford McKee Secretary.
This organisation, bringing together the 55s, 60s and 65s groups, has already been invited by Hockey Ireland to contribute to the development of a formalised structure for Master Hockey, which has seen significant growth over the last 10 years.
This includes participation in World and European Cups, Home Internationals to Interprovincial Tournaments like last week’s Interpros in Cork.
The FIH has recently announced an agreement to establish a single governing body for Masters Hockey with the International Masters Hockey Association (IMHA) and the World Grand Masters Association (WGMA) becoming one organisation and the Ireland Grand Masters are keen to see an equivalent body for Masters Hockey in Ireland.
It comes a week ahead of the Celtic Cup tournament for Over-60s and 65 which are being held this weekend, April 28-30 at Garryduff, Cork.
The Ireland 60s and 65s Team will both play Scotland Wales and France. The 60s won the cup in 2015 in Bangor, County Down, but lost out to Scotland in 2016 in Lille, France.The 60s squad have now a stronger team with some really skillful players moving up from the 55s level. Experienced players such as Keith Jess (Lisnagarvey) and Richard Clarke (Pembroke Wanderers) with augment the team and help provide a strong challenge to regain the trophy.
Coached by Sean Curran, both squads are very committed with training every month at alternating venues at Banbridge and Three Rock Rovers. This even necessitated exile players based in England regularly flying over for training.
The 65s squad are only in their second year of tournaments and performed well in the Home Nations and Celtic Cup, but are now also looking forward to really challenging for their first trophy.
Ireland Over-65s: Crawford McKee (Chelmsford), Donald Fetherson (Mossley), Stuart Switzer (Three Rock Rovers), John Keppel (Glenanne), Andy Hamilton (Old Wulfrunians), Paul Tynan (Telford and Wrekin), Paul Moore (NICS), Raymond Parker (Bangor), John Fleming (Alford & District), Mick Jordan (Enniscorthy), Paddy Goode (Dublin YMCA), Willie Sedgwick (Bourneville), Maurice Martin (Monkstown), Joe Dunne (Woking), Tim Chillingworth (Fingal), Heath Tyrrell (Unattached)
Coach: Sean Curran (Epsom); Manager: John Fleming (Alford & District)
Friday, April 28: Ireland v France, 6.45pm
Saturday, April 29: Ireland v Scotland, 1.15pm
Sunday, April 30: Ireland v Wales, 9.15am
Ireland Over-60s: Declan Ryan (Avoca), David Williamson (Glenanne), Peter Chadwick (YMCA), Fergus Stapleton (Reading), Eddie O’Malley (Glenanne), Keith Jess (Lisnagarvey), Billy Pollock (Cliftonville), Stuart Egner (Cork Harlequins), Alan Wheeler (Fingal), Henry Brown (Instonians), Martyn Cremin (East Grinstead), George Blackwood (Bangor), Brendan Rice (Fingal), Tom Gelletlie (Avoca), Andy Matthews (Gerard’s Cross)
Coach: Sean Curran (Epsom); Manager: Crawford McKee (Chelmsford)
Friday, April 28: Ireland v Wales, 5pm
Saturday, April 29: Ireland v France, 4.45pm
Sunday, April 30: Ireland v Scotland, 12.45pm