Ireland’s Olympic qualifying path became slightly clearer with confirmation of the final sides to play in June’s Hockey Series Finals.
With emotions still raw in the wake of their World Cup departure, the Irish squad attempted to put into words their feelings following their departure from the competition.
Ireland’s World Cup crossover hopes came to a crushing end at the hands of England, leaving them bottom of Pool B in Bhubaneswar.
Conor Harte says today’s showdown with England is Ireland’s “World Cup final” with a draw or better required against the world number seven side.
Chris Cargo has hailed the “amazing” World Cup atmosphere as Bhubaneswar and the Indian crowds have gone wild for the event, turning the city into a mecca for hockey.
Ireland were left to reflect on a frustrating evening in Bhubaneswar as China’s compact gameplan saw them cling on for a draw, leaving the Green Machine to go down to the wire on Friday against England.
Having seen their plans of an ambush against world number one side Australia fall just short, Ireland’s men now assume the opposite role as they look avoid the trap laid by China today in their second World Cup group game (1.30pm, BT Sport).
Shane O’Donoghue’s record equaling 93rd international goal was not quite enough as Ireland made life incredibly awkward for the world number one side but ultimately fell to a 2-1 defeat.
Australia coach Colin Batch says his side won’t be underestimating world number 10 Ireland in their opening game of the 2018 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar.
While David Harte is by a distance Ireland’s most high profile men’s hockey player, there is the distinct possibility he is far more recognised in India than on home soil.
Jonny Bell says he has worked all the hours available over the last year to put him in position to continue being part of the Green Machine’s World Cup challenge.
Daragh Walsh says the Irish men’s team have already spent six months trying to get their stomachs ready for the World Cup in India in late November.
Luke Madeley is the bolter in the Irish men’s squad named for World Cup which gets underway in late November in India after his confirmation in the 20-player panel named by new coach Alexander Cox.
The Irish women’s team’s Olympic Games hopes received a huge boost as they were confirmed as one of the host nations for the next phase of qualifiers for Tokyo.
In one of Craig Fulton’s last games in charge of the Irish men, he witnessed fine goalkeeping displays from David Fitzgerald and Jamie Carr in a 2-1 win over Germany in the absence of David Harte.
For the Green Army’s most ardent and self-professed “hockey nerd”, Sunday’s final was like all of Ali Meeke’s Christmases rolled into one.
The Irish women’s hockey team have soared to eighth place in the world rankings, moving up eight places following their run to the World Cup final.
Ayeisha McFerran landed the World Cup goalkeeper of the tournament gong following her stunning World Cup, winning almost unanimous support from the panel of coaches and media.
Ireland’s most capped sportswoman Shirley McCay raised the possibility that she may no longer retire from international hockey following the Green Army’s run to World Cup silver.
Graham Shaw hopes the seismic publicity his Green Army troops created over the last two weeks in the Olympic Park can lay the base for “a changing moment” in hockey’s history.