Three Rock Rovers – Men’s EY Hockey League preview

Last season: 2nd EY Hockey League; EY Champions Trophy winners; Irish Senior Cup winners; Neville Cup winners; Mills Cup winners; National Indoor Trophy winners; EuroHockey Indoor Challege II winners

Coach: Niall Denham (4th season), assistant: Gareth Borland (2nd season); manager: Andrew Walker (3rd season)

TRR with the EY Champions Trophy last May. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Players in: Jack McAllister (Loughborough), Mark English (Railway Union)
Players out: Mark Samuel (UCD), Peter Lynch (UCD), Conor Quinn (Rathgar), James Walker (Melbourne), Richard Pautz (South Africa)

Overview: The back-to-back EY Champions Trophy winners take on the mantle of favourites this season, particularly as they have not seen many of their major stars move on unlike their rivals.

Jamie Carr, Luke Madeley, Mitch Darling, Daragh Walsh, Ben Walker, Ravin Nair and Jody Hosking remain the core of the side that won six trophies last season all told.

Mark Samuel’s cracking pace from right-back is a loss but the forward line has extra competition with Mark English – Railway’s top scorer for the best part of a decade – could have a big impact. Scottish Under-21 international Jack McAllister arrives from Loughborough having previously played for Kelburne for 11 years.

David Kane will miss the early part of the season for work in the US. Alex Flynn and Rob McCollum are two teenagers set for more game-time this season. Ali Haughton could potentially return mid-season following three seasons in Paris, winning the regular season title with Racing.

It is a busy season ahead with a Euro Hockey League ROUND1 campaign in October in Barcelona – where they play Spain’s Junior FC and Racing Club de France – and an indoor competition in Oslo in the New Year.

Irish Senior Cup draw: third round v Annadale (home)

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