Pembroke – men’s EY Hockey League

Last season: 6th EY Hockey League; Irish Senior Cup first Round vs Garvey; Neville Cup final; Mills Cup semi-final
Coach: Jonny Caren (2nd Season)

Players in: Steven Sweetnam, Richard Sweetnam, Richard Lynch (all from Cork C of I). Nick Burns (return after a year with UCD rugby), Cedric Mushiete (Royal Wellington, Belgium), Pelayo Lasso (Club De Campo, Spain), Scott Sullivan (year in USA), Patrick Shanahan (Vancouver Jokers)
Players out: Andrew Shekleton (study break) Maurice Elliott (DSD Dusseldorf, Germany coaching), Elliott Goode (Avoca) Ben Bradley (Monkstown)

Overview: With six new arrivals, Jonny Caren’s Pembroke have their sights firmly set on closing the gap to the top four after a season in mid-table last time around. Their preseason started late this year with a couple of players in America while Jonny Caren was with the Irish Under-21s in Valencia.

Pembroke goalkeeper Mark Ingram. Pic: Adrian Boehm

It meant they played a number of small-sided 8vs8 conditioning games against Glenanne and Railway, a game in the north against Annadale before ties against Three Rock and UCD. The Cork trip of Stephen Sweetnam, Richard Sweetnam and Richard Lynch – as well as Nick Burns – bolster their squad considerably while Cedric Mushiete has played in the top level in Belgium with Royal Wellington. They have seven Munster men in the first match day squad.

They will look to combine with Cian Murphy and Riain MacDonald who played pivotal roles last season despite their tender years and Caren is hopeful Ben Schutte and Harry Watchorn can follow suit.

On the move, Maurice Elliott has moved to Germany where he is on the coaching staff with DSD Dusseldorfer HC’s women’s team. Patrick Good has attempted to retire to the second team once again.

Last term, Pembroke won 24 points against the other sides in the bottom half of the table but landed just one against the top half. Goal machine Alan Sothern – who is joined by Alan Giles as an assistant coach – goalkeeper Mark Ingram and Kirk Shimmins are the key figures in the team. Shimmins was in New Zealand, helping North Harbour win the Ford NHL for the first time since 2009 last weekend. Eleni Henry adds to their backroom team as physio.

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