Ards – Women’s EY Hockey League

Last season: 7th EY Hockey League; Irish Senior Cup second round
Coach: Phil Mills (first season), Stephen Martin and Janice Heasley (assistant coaches)

Players in: Emily Matchett (University of Nottingham)
Out: Linzi Hamilton (Belfast Harlequins), Kerri McDonald (Pegasus), Chloe Brown (East Grinstead)

Ards’ Alanah Doyle in action last season. Pic; Adrian Boehm

Overview: Ards will largely look to promote from within as they look to cover the departures of Linzi Hamilton, Kerri McDonald and their star woman Chloe Brown to East Grinstead to further her playing and coaching career.

They also said goodbye to long-term coach Gareth Grundie who is now focusing on his work with the Irish ladies team. It means Ards welcome a new coaching team, led by Masters World Cup gold medal winning coach and previous Ards first XI manager Phil Mills.

He will be assisted by Olympic gold and bronze medalist Stephen Martin alongside ex-Ards captain Janice Heasley (nee Vaughan). Between these three coaches, they host a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise.

Key players will be the captaincy team of Becky Weir and goalkeeper Naomi McKnight. Between the two players, they have an Ulster Premier league title, two Ulster shield titles, an Irish Senior Cup silver and several All Ireland indoor championships.  They will also return to Ulster cup competitions and are back in European indoor action in Douai in France in February.

Irish Senior Cup draw: second round vs Belfast Harlequins (home)

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