Annadale – Men’s EY Hockey League preview

Last season: Kirk Cup winners, Irish Senior Cup second round; promoted via EYHL playoffs

Player coach: Peter Caruth (second season); Assistant coaches: Gareth Kidd and Andy McBride

Players in: John Taylor (Portadown), David Tremlett (Kilkeel), Troy Chambers, Cole Chambers (Cookstown)
Players out: Matthew Crookshanks (Beeston, England), Chris Heath (uni in England)

Overview: Peter Caruth and his young charges will initially be targeting survival as they look to build on their promotion in the spring via the EY Hockey League playoffs.

The player-coach and Olympian will hope he can return to full action in the wake of another surgery on his ankle that kept him out of Ireland’s summer international series while Dale’s other Green Machine panelist Callum Robson has had surgery on his knee and will be unavailable until Christmas.

Annadale following their playoff success last April. Pic: Adrian Boehm

They have added John Taylor from Portadown and David Tremlett from Kilkeel as well as the Chambers brothers from Cookstown with Troy impressing last weekend at the underage interpros.

Indeed, they have a glut of youngsters on the rise. Fergus Gibson in midfield is one to watch while Owen McElhinney and Tom Robson shows the strength of the youth section.

Callum Carson has come into the panel; he plays hockey for Sullivan Upper and Ulster Under-18s but did not play club hockey last year. Caruth will be supported by Gareth Kidd and Andy McBride who have come on board as assistant coaches.

Ben Wallace and Adam McAllister showed plenty in last season’s playoffs to suggest they can make an impact at the top table. On the down side, Matthew Crookshanks move to Beeston will be a tough one to replace.

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