JAG Boys ready for “invaluable” exposure to top tournament conditions

Irish boys underage coaches Niall Denham and Simon Lowry are looking forward to “invaluable” exposure to top level international opposition as they descend on Eindhoven for Under-18 and 16 Six Nations tournaments.

They both start their campaigns at HC Oranje-Rood on Sunday morning against England with the Under-18s tipping off at 10am (local time).  They will play the Dutch on Monday, Germany on Wednesday, Belgium on Thursday and Spain on the final day on Saturday, July 20.

Denham – the Under-18 coach – said of the challenge ahead: “This tournament will allow us to play against some of the top youth programs in the world, assess how we have developed over the past two years and see where we are in between European Championships.

“This is our fifth Six Nations as a management team and each one has been a very enriching experience for players and coaches alike. Thanks to all the parents and those who have supported our fundraising efforts for allowing us to run such a professional programme.”

The side will be captained by Dutch-based Jake Raben who goes to the International School in Amsterdam and plays with Hurley.

“We have a brilliant squad of players and the team spirit is great amongst the lads. Our coaching and support team have ensured that we are in the best shape and our pre tournament preparations have gone particularly well with a series draw against England in April and a strong win in our Scotland series in Belfast last week.

“We know we will be facing the strongest teams in Europe next week but we’ll be hoping to pull off an upset as we did two years ago with many of these same team members against The Netherlands. No doubt more challenging this time on their own home turf and with a strong crowd behind them but we’ll be giving it everything we’ve got.”

Harry Lynch and Evan Jennings are included from Leinster Senior Cup winners The High School while All-Ireland schoolboys winner Ethan McInerney from Newtown is another looking to add to a spectacular season.

The Under-16s week follows a similar schedule and coach Simon Lowry says: “The exposure to high level opposition at this age is invaluable in terms of player development and creates a desire in the players to go on to the next level so that they can continue to experience these tests.

“It’s also a fantastic opportunity for the players to experience the highs and lows of tournament hockey at such a young age, and the discipline it takes to compete at that level. This experience wouldn’t be possible without the support of the parents who have done an incredible job in fundraising for the U16 boys this year.”

The side will be co-captained by Craig Mackay and Eddie Rowe who added: “It has been a long stretch preparing for the Six Nations and there have been ups and downs throughout the last number of months, losing a player to injury at the last hurdle.

“We feel that as a unit we have really bonded and grown as a strong, competitive unit. After months of hard work and preparations on and off the pitch, we really feel there are #NoLimits to the potential upset we could cause at the upcoming Six Nations and we can’t wait to finally get out there and give another 100%.”

Kent Irwin unfortunately has to miss out this week following a concussion sustained in their series win against Scotland. He is replaced by Bandon’s Ian Perrott

Ireland Under-18 Boys: Scott Dale (GK, Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Sam Hamill (GK, Regent House/NICS), Jonny Lynch (Wallace High School/Lisnagarvey), Troy Chambers (Wallace High School/Lisnagarvey), Harry Scott (Friends School/Lisnagarvey), Stewart Wylie (Cookstown HIgh School/Cookstown), Oliver Kidd (Friends School/Lisnagarvey), Mark Duggan (Mount Temple Comp/Clontarf), Joshua Greaney (Wesley College/Corintinan), Ryan Spencer (St Andrews College/Monkstown), Jamie Pullen (St Andrews College/Three Rock Rovers), Evan Jennings (The High School/Three Rock Rovers), Cian Murphy (St Andrews College/Pembroke Wanderers), Harry Lynch (The High School/Three Rock Rovers), Ethan McInerney (Newtown School/Waterford), Kevin O’Dea (Ashton Comprehensive/Cork Church of Ireland), Andrew Salter (Ashton Comprehensive/Cork Church of Ireland), Jake Raben (The International School, Amsterdam/ Hurley)

 Under-18 schedule (all at HC Oranje-Rood, Eindhoven – times are Irish)

Sunday, July 14: Ireland v England, 9am

Monday, July 15: Ireland v Netherlands, 3.20pm

Wednesday, July 17: Ireland v Germany, 3.40pm

Friday, July 19: Ireland v Belgium, 1.40pm

Saturday, July 20: Ireland v Spain, 1.20pm

Ireland Under-16 Boys: Max Anderson (Cookstown HS/Cookstown), Matthew Aughey (Friends’ School Lisburn/Lisnagarvey), Sean Bateman (Ashton/Cork Church of Ireland), James Clark (Methodist College Belfast/Annadale), Mark Collins (Bandon Grammar School/Bandon), Adam Galbraith (Wesley College/Three Rock Rovers), Callum Hewat (St Andrew’s College/Monkstown), Ian Perrott (Bandon Grammar School/Bandon), Theo Kohlmann (St Andrew’s College/Monkstown), Craig Mackay (Wesley College/Corinthian), Conor Matthews (Sullivan Upper, Holywood/Annadale), Oran O’Sullivan (Newpark Comprehensive School/Avoca), Patrick Rose (Sullivan Upper School/Annadale), Edward Rowe (Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Ben Ryder (Wesley College/Three Rock Rovers), Karl Smyth (Bandon Grammar School/Bandon), Rory Treacy (Newtown School/Waterford), Ben Whelan (The High School/Three Rock Rovers)

 Under-16 schedule (all at HC Oranje-Rood, Eindhoven – times are Irish)

Sunday, July 14: Ireland v England, 11am

Monday, July 15: Ireland v Netherlands, 5.40pm

Wednesday, July 17: Ireland v Germany, 2pm

Friday, July 19: Ireland v Belgium, 12.20m

Saturday, July 20: Ireland v Spain, 11.40am

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