Five senior internationals have been named in Jonny Caren’s Irish Under-21 men’s panel for the upcoming European Junior Championships II in Lousada, Portugal which runs from July 13–19.
James Lorimer, Harry Spain, Nick Burns and Matthew Bell have all been capped in the past year while Peter Brown is well established member of the senior setup having played in both the World League and European Championships in 2013.Michael Robson and Kirk Shimmins are both eligible at this level, too, but are both part of Craig Fulton’s senior panel with the tournament running in the wake of the Investec London Cup.
They are blended with a number of younger stars, four of whom are qualified to play at Under-18 international level this year with Daragh Walsh the youngest of the lot having played Under-16 level for both Wesley and Three Rock Rovers in 2014.
Caren has made the selection following five training camps since January as well as the Four Nations event held in January in Newtonabbey, the Under-21 interpros and last week’s challenge match against the Welsh senior team.
“After our final preparation camp in Lisnagarvey for the past five days, I have made my selections based on what I believe will best suit us with the opposition we face in Portugal in two weeks time,” Caren said. “However the decision was extremely difficult with so much quality shown at this age group.
“The squad were outstanding in their application of technical and tactical requirements at the camp and with the use of the first beat system we were able to push the boys to their limits to get the best out of them and preparing for 5 games in 6 days in 30+ degrees in Portugal.
“The team has a balance of experience, with some players already having senior caps, and youth, four players still eligible for Under 18 hockey. These players selected have grown close as a squad which will hopefully help when it comes to tournament hockey”.
Ireland Under-21 squad: Matthew Bell (Banbridge), Peter Brown (UCD), Nick Burns (UCD), Jamie Carr (Monkstown), Lee Cole (Monkstown), Ben Cosgrove (Grove Menzieshill), Jeremy Duncan (UCD), Neal Glassey (Mossley), Mark Ingram (Pembroke Wanderers), James Lorimer (Lisnagarvey), Mark Loughrey (Pembroke Wanderers), Owen Magee (Banbridge), Johnny McKee (Banbridge), Sean Murray (Lisnagarvey), Harry Spain (Pembroke Wanderers), Daragh Walsh (Three Rock Rovers), Simon Wolfe (Cork C of I), Jamie Wright (Portadown)
Non Travelling Reserves: Peter McKibbin (Annadale), Ravin Nair (UCD)
Match Schedule Europeans (all local times)
Monday, July 14: Ireland v Russia (4pm); Tuesday, July 15: Ireland v Ukraine (4pm); Wednesday, July 16: Ireland v Portugal (6pm); Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19: Classification matches