This weekend is a busy time for both senior international hockey sides as both coaches avail of an opportunity to play against lower ranked Scotland.
Both sides will compete on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning across the water at the Forth Bank stadium, Sterling, Scotland. All players will be out to impress head coaches, Dave Passmore and Gene Muller, at every opportunity before final selections are made for the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in 2008.
Two new caps are looking likely this weekend, Armagh’s Stephanie Quinn and Three Rock Rover’s Andy McConnell have both been given the opportunity to pull on the senior jersey for the first time.
At the other end of the scale, David Hobbs has amassed ninety nine caps to date and with his 100th just around the corner this weekend will be very special indeed. Not only will he wear the green jersey for the 100th time, but at the age of just 25 years and 162 days he will be the youngest male player ever to achieve this. Before Hobbs, only sixteen other male players have achieved 100 caps including fellow Munster man Jason Black.
Hobbs made his debut on the full Irish side at 19years on 31 May 2002 at the Celtic Cup against Wales where Ireland won 3-1. In the same year he played every game for Ireland in the European Qualifiers which they won. The following year 2003, David also played every match in the 2003 European championships as he started to establish himself as an ever present in the senior squad. Despite taking a year out in 2004 he regained his place in 2005 and was an integral part of the side which won gold in Rome in European B division and then competed in the World Cup qualifier in China 2006 and European championships Manchester 2007.
Commenting on the impending 100th cap Coach Passmore said “David has always been a pleasure to work with as he is a real team player. This fantastic achievement reflects his natural ability, commitment and versatility.”
David has represented Ireland at every level and his performances on the world hockey stage will be no surprise to all those who have coached him and played alongside him through the years in the colors of Cork C of I and Munster who can all share in his success.
Men’s Squad Ireland
Jason Black, Mark Black, Paddy Brown, Karl Burns, Stephen Butler, Timothy Cockram, Ronan Gormley, David Hobbs, Mark Irwin, John Jermyn, Gareth Lennox (GK), Tim Lewis, Eugene Magee, Phelie Maguire, Geoff McCabe, Andy McConnell, Graham Shaw, Iain Walker (GK), Michael Watt, Conor Harte.
Women’s Squad Ireland
Emma Clarke, EimearCregan, Roisin Flinn, Emer Harte, Louisa Healy, Mary Goode, Lisa Jacob, Shirley McCay, JennyMcDonough, Cathy McKean, Bridget McKeever, Rachel Mulligan, Ciara O’Brien, Clare Parkhill, Stephanie Quinn, Cliodhna Sargent, Emma Stewart, Nikki Symmons.
Friday 23 November 20:00
Saturday 24 November 17:00
Sunday 25 November 13:00 (Unofficial match)
Friday 23 November 18:00
Saturday 24 November 15:00
Sunday 25 November 11:00
Source: Irish Hockey Association
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