Dave Passmore and Kenny Carroll have been confirmed as the women’s and men’s national indoor team coaches as Ireland looks to return to international action after a couple of decades away.
Both coaches will be working with a view toward the EuroHockey Indoor Championships with the women confirmed to play in Galanta, Slovakia in January 2020.
They are on the entry list for EuroHockey Championship III along with Denmark, Bulgaria, Spain, Georgia, Portugal, Slovenia and the hosts with pools set to be decided at the back end of January 2019.
On the men’s side, Ireland are not currently assigned to a tournament as their EuroHockey Championship III in Santander is over-subscribed with entries already in place. However, should a nation withdraw by June 30, Ireland are first reserve to take up a spot.
The men’s Leinster indoor league starts on Sunday at St Columba’s with six games in the expanded competition with two groups of five entering this season.
In Group A, reigning national champions Three Rock Rovers are the side to beat following a fine season last time out, winning the National Indoor Trophy and the EuroHockey Club Challenge II in Tbilisi.
Jody Hosking and Ross Canning are their usual stars while Irish World Cup squad members Luke Madeley and Daragh Walsh have been improving their game in recent seasons.
They start off in a group with Pembroke, YMCA, Bray and Railway Union 2. Pembroke are led by Cedric Mushiete with Simon Thornton a goalkeeper with indoor know-how.
YM are captained by Wil Powderly while Railway seconds draw on the experience of Bruce Thompson and Arjen van As to guide their youth.
Railway’s firsts are the ones to watch in Group B. In addition to Kenny Carroll’s mastery of the boards, Brendan Parsons is back on board while Jason Lynch and Aran Rooney are guest stars from Monkstown.
Glenanne could be a dark horse with Cedric Jakobi and Rowland Rixon-Fuller in the mix. Kilkenny are being run by Eric Comerford who has been at the forefront of the PSI Kilkenny Cats.
Corinthian coach Trevor Dagg is a big fan of the game while North Kildare are another newcomer to the competition.
The women’s league gets under way on December 16 with Genesis, Muckross, Newbridge, UCD and Railway Union in Group A while four teams contest Group B – Glenanne, Three Rock Rovers, Bray and North Kildare.
The winner from each group will advance to the final four while second and third places will play crossover matches for a shot at the semi-finals.
From the men’s competition, the top two in Leinster will advance to the National Indoor Trophy finals day on January 27 at the Antrim Forum. One the women’s side, the four provincial champions will take part in the playoffs.
Men’s Leinster Indoor League
Group A: Pembroke, Three Rock Rovers, YMCA, Bray, Railway Union 2
Group B: Railway Union, Corinthian, Glenanne, North Kildare, Kilkenny
Women’s Leinster Indoor League
Group A: Genesis, Muckross, Newbridge, UCD, Railway Union
Group B: Glenanne, Three Rock Rovers, Bray, North Kildare.
This weekend’s fixtures (Sunday)
Leinster’ men’ Indoor League (all at St Columba’s College)
Group A: Railway Union B v Bray, 11.20am; Bray v YMCA, 12.40pm;
Group B: Kilkenny v North Kildare, 12pm; Glenanne v North Kildare, 1.20pm; Kilkenny v Corinthian, 2pm; Railway Union v Glenanne, 2.40pm