Belfast Harlequins have pulled off a major coup as they welcome the Barr twins, Bethany and Serena, for the new EY Hockey League season, writes John Flack.
The versatile Ireland duo, who can play in a number of positions, have returned home from Dublin and Nottingham respectively where they were studying.
It’s a huge boost for new Quins’ head coach Phil Mills’ side, who had earlier lost World Cup silver medallist Zoe Wilson, who has returned to her former club Randalstown as player-coach.
In her place, Harlequins have now gained two more internationals to add to Lizzie Colvin, who was also a World Cup runner up last year, and Gemma Frazer, overlooked for the current panel, despite some hugely influential displays last season
Bethany and Serena’s hockey careers are now therefore back on parallel lines much to their delight after spending two years apart playing for UCD and Beeston respectively.
Previously, they were team mates at Lurgan and Liberty Flames, the latter during a four-year spell when they were on a hockey scholarship in the United States.
In the interim, they both made their senior international debuts on the trip to Chile last January and they now have a combined caps tally of 21.
Bethany enthused: “Both Serena and I are very excited about the move to Harlequins and we are really looking forward to getting to play together again at club level next season.
“We both knew we wanted to be playing with an IHL side and Harlequins seemed like a family club that we would love to be a part of.
“Last year, they welcomed me to train with them during the latter part of the season when I had to move away from Dublin up to Belfast for work.
“They made me feel at home despite the fact that, at that point, I was still playing for UCD.
“Harlequins, therefore, seemed like the right choice for Serena and I as we want to be part of building something and be able to contribute to the team.
“We look forward to getting to train with all the girls and we look forward to seeing how the new season pans out.”
Quins coach Mills said: “We are delighted that Bethany and Serena have decided to join the club.”
“They are both strong players with broad experience so they will bring a lot to the squad and I think they will fit in very well.”