Monkstown – men’s EY Hockey League preview

Last season: 4th EY Hockey League; EY Champions Trophy final; Irish Senior Cup final; Mills Cup final; Neville Cup winners
Head Coach: Michael Styles (second season)

Players in: Aaron Bailey (UCD)
Players out: Lee Cole (Royal Oree, Belgium), Kyle Good (break from hockey), Max Maguire (UCD), Sam Hyland (YMCA), John Guilfoyle (UCD)

Overview: With Lee Cole and Kyle Good not around for the season, Monkstown will be a side with a number of opportunities for young players to stake their claim in their panel on an ongoing basis for the new season.

Cole has been in fine form for Oree who have been a surprise package in the Belgian league, scoring the winner in a 4-3 win over reigning champions Dragons last Sunday. Good’s break sees him join Rathmichael FC.

Karl Lynch and Lee Cole celebrating for Monkstown last season. Pic: Adrian Boehm

The likes of Harry Craig, Sam Byrne, Riley Marchant join Guy Sarratt – who took some breaks from the firsts during Leaving Cert year – Ross Quirke and Leinster Under-18 captain Matteo Romoli are in the rising stars category, looking to breakthrough.

With stalwarts Stephen Cole, David Cole, Nick Dee, Gavin Groves and Davy Carson guiding them, they have gone well in preseason with wins over Avoca, Cork C of I, Annadale and Railway along with a draw with Glenanne.

They await the return of Gareth Watkins but they anticipate he will be back by Christmas. Dave Fitzgerald returns between the posts having missed the vast majority of last season with a shoulder injury. Max Maguire – an excellent deputy – has gone to UCD.

Helping head coach Michael Styles out, his younger brother Iain is the manager, former Pembroke man Scott Lowrie is the assistant coach and video analyst while Kevin Foley, from Irish basketball, will do S&C with the ambition to improve on last season’s run of final appearances.

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