Darling returns to Irish panel for first time since Rio

Mitch Darling will make his first appearance for Ireland since the Rio Olympics following his inclusion for a short two-game series next week against the European champions, the Netherlands.

The forward took time away from the national set-up in the wake of the Games, missing the World Cup qualifying process during the summer but is named in a panel of 20 for the games at Upward Hockey Club in Arnhem.

Mitch Darling is back in the Irish squad. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Peter Caruth is another Olympic returnee, bidding to play his first game since June’s games against Pakistan, missing the World League Semi-Finals and Euros through injury.

They add extra firepower to the frontline where they will link up with Alan Sothern, Cork C of I man Julian Dale and Belgian-based Jeremy Duncan.

The backline sees a number of changes from the European panel with Luke Madeley and Sam O’Connor coming in with Paul Gleghorne and Jonny Bell stepping out. Gleghorne returned to club action last Saturday for Garvey while Bell sustained a facial injury in that same game against Cookstown.

The Netherlands are in their final preparations for December’s World League Final in India. For Ireland, they are looking at the long-term preparations for next year’s World Cup which will also take place in India.

Ireland senior men for Netherlands series (November 21-22, Upward HC): David Harte (Captain, SV Kampong), Mark Ingram (Pembroke), Matthew Bell (Banbridge), Conor Harte (Racing Club de Bruxelles), Luke Madeley (Three Rock Rovers), Stuart Loughrey (Hampstead & Westminster), Sam O’Connor (Glenanne), Lee Cole (Royal Oree), Michael Robson (Crefelder), Kirk Shimmins (Pembroke), Sean Murray (Lisnagarvey), Daragh Walsh (Three Rock Rovers), Stephen Cole (Monkstown), Neal Glassey (Lisnagarvey), Matthew Nelson (Lisnagarvey), Alan Sothern (Pembroke), Peter Caruth (Annadale), Mitch Darling (Three Rock Rovers), Jeremy Duncan (Herakles), Julian Dale (Cork C of I)

Tuesday, November 21:
Ireland v Netherlands, 1pm, Upward
Wednesday, November 22: Ireland v Netherlands, 1pm, Upward

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