Coach Kenny Carroll has named the first Irish men’s indoor team since the 1980s following two weeks of trials as preparations begin in earnest for January’s EuroHockey Championships III in Santander.
Ireland are in a group with hosts Spain, Scotland, Slovenia and Wales for their return to international action with top spot alone earning promotion to the second tier.
The squad features Ross Canning and Harry Morris who have been ever-presents in Three Rock Rovers’ back-to-back European club promotions. They are joined in the panel by Mark English and former Rover Stephen West who played in 2012 Euro club competition before moving to England where he has played indoors with Team Bath for four seasons.
There, he has lined out with John Jackson who will captain the side. He has vast experience on the boards, reaching the English Supers 6s championship final with both Reading and Bath, ending as leading scorer with the latter in 2018.
German-based outdoor international trio Neal Glassey, Michael and Callum Robson also link up with the squad along with Railway Union duo Stephen O’Keeffe and Brendan Parsons.
Glenanne’s Rowland Rixon-Fuller – who has caps for Zimbabwe outdoors – and Monkstown’s Jason Lynch will play their part in the tournament while Railway’s Eoin MacArthur and Cookstown’s Mark Crooks are the reserves. A further seven players form part of a wider training panel.
“I would like to compliment all players involved in the preparation period so far on their commitment,” said head coach Carroll.
“Selecting the final squad was difficult due to the high standard of players who were in contention. The 12 players selected to represent Ireland, the two non-travelling reserves, the players on the training panel and all players playing domestic club Indoor hockey this season are all part of the journey we are on to compete at the top level and also to build and improve the base of Indoor hockey in Ireland.
“Both of these aims are mutually inclusive and reliant on each other, and will improve and develop Hockey in Ireland, there is no doubt.
“I believe will prepare diligently for and play exciting and clinical Indoor hockey while representing Ireland in Santander in January. Throughout the squad we have a nice blend of current and previous international experience, exciting young talent and ambitious athletes. We have tough and experienced opponents in hosts Spain, Scotland , Slovenia and Wales. I know our squad are relishing this challenge.
“The supportive management team are also looking forward to assisting the playing group in the next stage of the preparation phase and the tournament.”
Ireland Men Indoor Squad – Santander January 17th- 19th 2020 EuroHockey Indoor Championship III: Ross Canning (Three Rock Rovers), Mark English (Three Rock Rovers), Neal Glassey (Crefelder THC – Germany), John Jackson (captain, Team Bath Buccaneers – England), Jason Lynch (vice captain, Monkstown), Harry Morris (Three Rock Rovers), Stephen O’Keeffe (GK, Railway Union), Brendan Parsons (Railway Union), Rowland Rixon Fuller (Glenanne), Callum Robson (Crefelder THC – Germany), Michael Robson (Crefelder THC – Germany), Stephen West (GK, Team Bath Buccaneers – England)
Non travelling Reserves: Eoin MacArthur (Railway Union), Mark Crooks (Cookstown)
Head Coach: Kenny Carroll
Assistant Coach/Analyst: Craig Stewart
Manager: Rob Abbott
Physio: Huw Rees
Training Panel: Neil Byrne (Glenanne), Richard Couse (Avoca), Ben O’Grady (YMCA), Stu Ronan (Glenanne), Stu Smyth (Cookstown), Jakim Bernsden (GK, YMCA), Euan MacKay (GK, Corinthian)