A number of players have a chance to stake their claim for a midfield berth as Paul Revington named six changes to his Ireland squad for the Celtic Cup from 2009’s World Cup qualifiers.
All were enforced swaps with four of them coming in the middle of the park with Glenanne pair Stephen Butler and Graham Shaw (retirement) and Cork C of I duo David Hobbs and John Jermyn taking a summer sabbatical.
With Tim Lewis – a potential makeweight – also out injured, there is plenty of scope for a list of hopefuls to step up.
Geoff McCabe and David Ames are the two recognised midfielders from the WCQ panel while Paul Gleghorne is an option, too.
Pembroke’s Andy McConnell and Alan Giles return to tournament hockey after stints in the Champion’s Challenge and the Europeans, respectively, with 77-capped Phelie Maguire more likely to be used in the forward line.
David Harte’s injury gives Iain Walker a rare chance as the number one choice goalkeeper while David Fitzgerald could make his international debut. Peter Caruth also returns
The back four and front line retain more settled look for the tournament in Le Touquet next week, getting underway on June 25 against Wales before facing Scotland on the Saturday and concluding against France on Sunday, June 27.
Ireland are reigning champions despite using an experimental side last time around. Ames, Johnny Jackson, Fitzgerald, Walker, Giles, Peter Caruth and Chris Cargo are the ones with winner’s medals to add to their haul.
Speaking ahead of the trip, Paul Revington is pleased to be back in action after a lengthy break:
“We’re excited to be back together again and in international action.The team has a few changes to the one which last played in Argentina, changes as a result of retirements, current injuries and strategic rest.
“The pleasing aspect is that the depth of the squad allows us to send a highly motivated and skilled group of players to this event despite the various selection changes”
Iain Walker (YMCA; 20) GK; David Fitzgerald (Monkstown; 0) GK; Ronan Gormley (Pembroke W; 97) Captain; John Jackson (Loughborough; 42); Joe Brennan (Glenanne; 33); Conor Harte (Pembroke W; 40); Paul Gleghorne (Loughborough; 11); Geoff McCabe (Dragons; 62); David Ames (Cookstown; 14); Andy McConnell (Pembroke W; 13);Alan Giles (Pembroke W; 7); Chris Cargo (Reading; 5); Eugene Magee (Dragons; 103); Timmy Cockram (Lisnagarvey; 95); Mitch Darling (Leuven; 41); Alan Sothern (Pembroke W; 37); Peter Caruth (Annadale; 16); Phelie Maguire (Leuven; 77)
Reserves: Billy Lynch; Adam Pritchard; Bruce McCandless; Gareth Watkins; Peter Blakeney; Jason Lynch; Gary Shaw
Unavailable: David Harte; Michael Watt; Tim Lewis; John Jermyn; Michael Maguire; David Hobbs