Steven Arbuthnot has named two Irish Under-18 squads as they take on Scotland next week in Glasgow before travelling out to Terrassa on July 17 for the highlight of their summer series.
The side features a number of players who have trained with the Irish Under-21 squad in recent times with the likes of Michelle Carey and Sarah Torrans playing in their series against Wales in Santry. Michelle and her sister Niamh, along with Grace McLoughlin, were part of the Irish side at the Euros in 2016 in Cork.
There are many stars from the Kate Russell All-Ireland schools like Sophie Thomas and Yasmin Pratt from Kilkenny, Banbridge’s Katie McKee and Ursuline Thurles’s Caoimhe Perdue while almost half of the panel have played their part in EYHL season gone by.
They face eight matches in 16 days in total with 20 players going over to Scotland with 18 of that number going on to Spain where Ireland will play the hosts, Belgium, England, Germany and the Netherlands.
Speaking about the selection, Arbuthnot said: “We want to commend all the players for their hard work during their busy exam schedules – their ability to manage studies and hockey has demonstrated their commitment to the programme.
“This squad have really started to impress and the high levels of fitness and exemplary attitude to training have made them a joy to work with. They are now entering a busy final month of preparations and they are focused on making significant squad improvements to aspire towards their high expectations.
“We, as a coaching team, are delighted to be working with such a committed and dynamic group of players, who are excited about the challenge of top level hockey this summer.”
Scotland Series, Glasgow, July 7-9: Jade Lamont (Belfast Harlequins/Ballymena Academy), Jade Arundell (North Kildare/King’s Hospital), Grace McLoughlin (Railway Union/Loreto Beaufort), Issy Delamer (Old Alex/Alexandra College), Caitlin Sherin (Avoca/Loreto Foxrock), Caoimhe Perdue (Cork Harlequins/Ursuline Thurles), Sophie Thomas (Kilkenny/Kilkenny College), Holly Taggart (Ballymena/Ballymena Academy), Katie Fearon (Railway Union/Loreto Beaufort), Christina Hamill (Loreto/Loreto Foxrock), Sarah Torrans (Loreto/Loreto St Stephen’s Green), Niamh Carey (Railway Union/Colaiste Iosagain), Laura Foley (Limerick/Laurel Hill), Sophie McDowell (Mossley/Ballyclare Academy), Siofra O’Brien (Avoca/Loreto Foxrock), Yasmin Pratt (Muckross/Kilkenny College), Michelle Carey (Railway Union/Colaiste Iosagain), Katie McKee (Pegasus/Banbridge Academy), Nina Heisterkamp (Railway Union/St Kilian’s), Rebecca McConnell (Mossley/Ballyclare)
6 Nations, Terrassa, July 17-23: Jade Lamont, Jade Arundell, Grace McLoughlin, Issy Delamer, Caitlin Sherin, Caoimhe Perdue, Sophie Thomas, Holly Taggart, Katie Fearon, Christina Hamill, Sarah Torrans, Niamh Carey, Laura Foley, Sophie McDowell, Siofra O’Brien, Yasmin Pratt, Michelle Carey, Katie McKee
Fixture schedule (all times local)
Monday, July 17: Ireland v England, 9am
Tuesday, July 18: Ireland v Belgium, 11am
Thursday, July 20: Ireland v Spain, 9pm
Friday, July 21: Ireland v Germany, 7pm
Sunday, July 23: Ireland v Netherlands, 9am