The Irish Under-21 women begin their extensive build-up in earnest for July’s European Championships on Thursday with the first game of a three-match series in Alicante against the GB Under-23s.
It is an important phase in the year as they lay the base for those Euros which will play a part in potential qualification for the Junior World Cup.
Head coach David Passmore commented of the trip: “After four weeks of hard physical training, the squad selected will undertake a hard five days training and match play against an older side who recently competed together in China.
“We have chosen to rest a few players and with other Under-21 aged players in Chile, this presents players an opportunity to stake a place for the Europeans in Valencia in July. I have been really impressed with the commitment of the players over the past month and look forward to testing ourselves against GB.”
Last weekend, the squad came together for a training camp in Dublin, training at Pembroke and facing off against a Three Rock Rovers’ boys team before their Wednesday departure to Spain.
Throughout the remainder of January and through to May, the squad will take in a rigourous programme of strength and conditioning and running sessions as well as monthly meet-ups and matches in addition to club schedules.
At the back end of May, Ireland will host a four nations event before travelling to Terrassa in June and then meeting Belgium four times in the final run-up to the tournament which gets underway in Valencia on July 13.
Ireland Under-21s for warm-weather training camp in Alicante (January 10-12): Michelle Barry (Cork Harlequins), Michelle Carey (UCD), Niamh Carey (UCD), Jenny Clein (UCC), Ellen Curran (UCD), Isabelle Delamer (Trinity), Alana Doyle (Ards), Katie Fearon (Railway Union), Gemma Ferguson (GK, Ulster Elks), Erin Getty (Queens), Christina Hamill (Loreto), Nina Heisterkamp (UCD), Hannah Humphries (GK, UCC), Mia Jennings (Loreto), Jane Kilpatrick (Loughborough Uni, England), Hannah McLoughlin (UCD), Jessica McMaster (Queens), Emily McStea (Queens), Siofra O’Brien (Loreto), Caoimhe Perdue (Cork Harlequins), Laura Foley (Catholic Institute), Ellen Reid (Banbridge), Abbie Russell (UCD), Caitlin Sherin (Loreto/Loreto Foxrock), Holly Taggart (Bristol Uni, England), Emma Young (UCD)
Match Schedule (local times, all in Alicante):
Thursday, January 10: Ireland Under-21 vs Great Britain Under-23, 4pm
Friday, January 11: Ireland Under-21 vs Great Britain Under-23, 4pm
Saturday, January 12: Ireland Under-21 vs Great Britain Under-23, 9am