Debut: August 2012 v Wales
Age (at time of World Cup): 24
International goals: 30
Current club: UCD
Previous club: Ballymoney
Katie Mullan took over the captaincy in the wake of Megan Frazer’s injury travails and provides a strong presence in either the forward or midfield lines where she has been used at different intervals.
She has joked that she has found herself in “every position except goalkeeper” with her aggression making her an adaptable force of nature. After a prolific underage career, scoring plenty of goals for Ballymoney and at the 2010 Youth Olympics, she broke into the Irish team in August 2012.
She was fast-tracked into the side for a first tournament in the Champions Challenge I, winning a bronze and scoring a last gasp equaliser against Scotland. A silver two years later at the Challenge I in Glasgow followed in 2014 as well as a silver at the EuroHockey Junior Championships in Vienna that same year.
The devastation of missing the 2016 Olympic Games was soon replaced by the super World Cup qualifying campaign with Mullan leading out the team: “I love having the opportunity to walk the team out before an international game.
“For me the best captains have always been those who lead by example on the pitch, Megan is a prime example of that. That’s the ethos I’m trying to go with.”
In her youth, she split her hockey time with camogie at the Eoghan Rua club in Coleraine, something she credits for her hand-eye coordination before coming under the wing of former Irish internationals Bridget Cleland and Lynsey McVicker at Dalriada and Ballymoney.
A move to UCD for a sports scholarship allowed her to step up further and she now divides her time between playing and her masters in biomedical engineering.
Great episode of @OfftheBenchOTB – @ponyyelof meets @IreWomenHockey’s @nikkilevans, @roisinupton & Captain @katiemullan11. Interesting to hear such different sporting backgrounds and routes into international hockey. Lots of #HWC2018 preview chat, too! ☘https://t.co/GhJtRoSuQK pic.twitter.com/HUk0v7jaZr
— Muckross Hockey Club (@MuckrossHC) July 19, 2018