(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)
Ireland’s Men and Women’s squads were today announced for the EuroHockey Nations Championships taking place in Monchengladbach, Germany from 20th – 28th August.

Both Paul Revington (men) and Gene Muller (women) revealed their squads for what will be their biggest tournaments this summer, and Ireland’s first opportunity to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics. Both sides have had exceptionally busy and successful summers. The men most recently added a trophy to their cabinet when they took gold at the recent INSEP tournament in Paris ahead of Australia, Korea and Argentina. Ireland women have also had an intense summer as they continue to train centrally while they also produced some great results at the Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I tournament where they finished above their ranking.

A finish in the top two for the women will guarantee qualification or top three if England finish in the top two. For the men a finish in the top three secures an Olympic berth unless England finish in the top three in which case it will go to the top four. If at this juncture Ireland does not qualify they will progress forward into the Olympic Qualifiers which will take place early 2012 (dates / venues tbc).

Both Coaches will have an opportunity to fine tune their sides as they have a number of matches pencilled in prior to the Europeans (see schedule below) most notably against Argentina in UCD.

Commenting on the upcoming tournament High Performance Director Dave Passmore said “These are both exciting selections from two teams who have both made encouraging progress over the past nine months.  Both teams have tough groups but the three men's tournament wins this summer and the women's performances at the Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I event in Dublin demonstrates that we have the capability for an upset.”

Revington who is yet to name player 17 & 18 spoke to us earlier about his selection “Our extended Ireland Squad has enjoyed a highly competitive summer together, culminating in the selection of this final Ireland Team to tackle the EuroHockey Nations Championships.  Although the Team of 18 is not yet absolutely finalised, the 16 players selected provides an insight into the strength of quality and form that Ireland will take into the European Championships. The two games this weekend versus Argentina will provide various players with a last performance opportunity before we select the remaining two places on the European Championship Team.”

While Women’s Coach Gene Muller commented “The Europeans is our premier event of the year and our toughest challenge. Our pool is extremely tough with Germany (3rd in the world); England (4th) and Belgium (CCII winners) to contend with. I am confident in the players that we have selected. They have been fantastic in terms of their preparation and persistence. My hope is that we enjoy is that we enjoy the tournament and play as well as we are able to.”

Men’s Squad
David Ames (Beeston); Peter Caruth (Annadale); Tim Cockram (Lisnagarvey); Mitch Darling (Den Bosch); David Fitzgerald GK (Monkstown); Paul Gleghorne (Instonians); Ronan Gormley (Club de Campo) Capt; Conor Harte (SCHC); David Harte GK (SCHC); John Jackson (Mossley); John Jermyn (Cork C of I); Eugene Magee (Dragons); Geoff McCabe (Santander); Andy McConnell (Hurley); Ian Sloan (Cookstown); Michael Watt (Santander); 17th & 18th player TBC
Reserves: Brennan, Joe (Glenanne); Blakeney, Peter (Three Rock Rovers); Cargo, Chris (Reading) Flannery, Ronan (Pembroke) Loughrey, Stuart (Loughborough) Maguire, Phelie (Leuven) McCandless, Bruce (Banbridge) Sothern, Alan (Den Bosch) Walker, Iain (YMCA) Watkins, Gareth (Monkstown)
Final preparation matches all in UCD: 6th August 3pm Ireland v Argentina; 7th August 3pm Ireland v Argentina

Women’s Squad
Emma Clarke (VC) (Leicester); Lizzie Colvin (Loreto); Aine Connery (Hermes); Miriam Crowley (UCC); Emma Gray (GK) (Hermes); Michelle Harvey (Pegasus); Lisa Jacob (Hermes); Sinead McCarthy (Hermes); Shirley McCay (Old Alex); Audrey O’Flynn (Hermes); Julia O’Halloran (Railway Union); Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins); Niamh Small (Loreto); Pamela Smithwick (GK) (Old Alex); Emma Smyth (Railway Union); Alex Speers (Capt) (Railway Union); Nikki Symmons (Loreto); Chloe Watkins (UCD).