Tumilty anticipates tough task in Barcelona

Banbridge coach Mark Tumilty says it will be a “tough ask” to repeat their superb performances in ROUND1 of the EHL when they managed to win a group featuring Royal Leopold and Saint Germain.

The Irish club hosted the event in front of large local crowds but this time are on the road to Barcelona from October 6-8 in Pool C where they will meet Polish ever-present EHL side WKS Grunwald Poznan and a mighty Racing Club de Bruxelles.

Reacting to the draw, Tumilty told the EHL website: “It is a tough draw with Racing an excellent side with plenty of EHL experience. The Polish team will also provide a good test as they also have plenty of EHL experience. I look forward to seeing how our team has progressed from last year.

“It will be a very tough ask to repeat what we achieved last year on our own turf. However, I feel if we can play to our full potential we have an opportunity to progress.”

Banbridge coach Mark Tumilty. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek

Indeed, it will be hard to match their run to the KO16, especially with the need for a new central defensive partnership. Matthew Bell – the star last year – is moving to Crefelder in Germany while Kyle Marshall is on the way to Beeston in England.

In addition, they are waiting on the fitness of Johnny McKee who picked up a nasty shoulder injury during the Hockey World League in Johannesburg against Spain this week.

“In addition, Jake Rowe is not available as he is going to America on a golf scholarship. We have added [Irish underage internationals] Alex Tinney and Zach McClelland to the squad over the summer.

“I am delighted that these guys wanted to join our club and I feel that both can develop their games playing with the current squad. I would still like to add another defender to the squad but have been unable to do so to date.”

** Tickets for EHL ROUND1 in Barcelona can be purchased here

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