Chloe Brown has revealed she turned down the offer of a move to Germany last season but she says she would jump at the opportunity if it were to come along again, writes John Flack.
The Ards striker will, therefore, be doing her utmost to impress when she plays in the European Indoor Trophy tournament in Prague at the weekend.
With all five of her team’s games being broadcast live on the internet, Brown will be in the shop window as she aims to enhance her reputation as the best indoor player in Ireland.
She has scored more than 30 goals for the club in five previous European tournaments and will be expected to add to her tally over the weekend.
Brown explained: “I had an offer to go Germany but due to other factors happening in my life I decided it was not the best time to go.
“I would love to play abroad especially in the likes of Germany where they have an indoor league.
“I really enjoy indoor and I am always gutted when it ends as I feel I never get much time to play it and build momentum.”
The 24-year-old Irish outdoor international would love to see the six-a-side version of the game expanded here although there have been encouraging signs of late in that regard.
Brown added: “Ulster hockey have planted the seed at underage level with U-15 and U-18 indoor tournaments that were a great success.
“There is also the Pro Series indoor (PSi) initiative that seems to have taken off across the country with the Belfast Bears taking off uo here in Ulster
“Hockey Ireland should have the final say and need to take the initiative as they will need to look at the national schedule to ensure that a proper indoor league is set up.”
“Leinster hockey seem to have done a good job at it this year by organising a league whereas we just had a one-day tournament in Ulster.”
This weekend, Ards will be targeting a top-six finish in Prague which would enable them to retain their second-tier status.
They are up against opposition from the Czech Republic, Croatia and Lithuania in the first phase before playing two classification matches.
“When we go to Prague our aim is to stay in B division. However every year we have played in a Euros, we have gained more and more experience and this shows in our play. “We always want to improve and do one better than last time. My aim is to not just to stay up but do it comfortably..” Chloe said..
However, she believes if things don’t change in Ireland as far as the indoor game is concerned, despite the encouraging signs, Ards’ task will be difficult, if they are to achieve their objective.
“I believe so. All these teams we play have their own respective indoor leagues. Before the tournament starts they have had at least two months of training and matches, yet this year we had two days of matches between ulster and Irish indoors.” she said.
“I always worry going into the first day of matches in the Euros as it’s been a while since we have played any competitive games but that doesn’t stop us and in fact it encourages us to give more and show that we are a threat.”
** To follow Ards scores from Prague, click here: https://eurohockey.altiusrt.com/competitions/93