Ireland set for three-game series with Pakistan

The Irish men will play three games against Pakistan in Lisnagarvey in early June as the latest addition to their summer schedule building up to the World Cup qualifiers in July in South Africa.

The world number 14 side last visited these shores in June 2011 when they played in front of some of the biggest, and loudest, crowds seen at the National Hockey Stadium in UCD.

Since then, Ireland memorably beat the Pakistanis for the first time in 2015 when Alan Sothern’s single goal handed Ireland a 1-0 that went a long way to assuring Olympic qualification.

Jonnny Bell in action against Pakistan in 2015. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek

This time, they come to Ireland off the back of a series in London with Garvey hosting the series that runs from June 1 to 4.

It comes a couple of days after two uncapped matches against England at Bisham Abbey on May 27 and 28.

Ireland will also head to Germany for the Hamburg Masters. There they will meet Spain, Austria and Olympic bronze medallists Germany in the round-robin tournament.

World League Round 3 takes place in Johannesburg from July 8 to 23 with as many as eight sides from the ten entrants potentially qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Speaking about the sides upcoming fixtures, head coach Craig Fulton said: “We have a good build up in preparation to World League and are looking forward to starting our training camp this weekend and playing our first matches at the end of the month.

“We’re very pleased to be welcoming Pakistan to Belfast for a three-match series at the beginning of June. It will be great to play in front of a home crowd and play against a skilled team who are gearing up for their own World League campaign in London.

“Prior to that, we have two matches against England which will be a good test for our young side. Concluding our preparation for World League at the Hamburg Masters is ideal as we play against 3 teams with different styles of play”.

Fixture schedule:
Saturday, May 27: Ireland vs England, 2pm, Bisham Abbey
Sunday, May 28: Ireland vs England, 2pm, Bisham Abbey

Thursday, June 1: Ireland v Pakistan, time tbc, Comber Road
Saturday, June 3: Ireland v Pakistan, time tbc, Comber Road
Sunday, June 4: Ireland v Pakistan, time tbc, Comber Road

Hamburg Masters
Thursday, June 22: Ireland v Spain, 4.45pm, Hamburg
Friday, June 23: Ireland v Austria, 4.45pm, Hamburg
Sunday, June 25: Ireland v Germany, 12.30pm, Hamburg

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