Day 1 action at the Electric Ireland Champions Challenge 1 in Dublin
Day 1 action at the Electric Ireland Champions Challenge 1 in Dublin
(Photo: )

Electric Ireland Irish Women’s coach Darren Smith has named his 18 players to travel to the World League 2 tournament in Valencia, Spain later this month following a nine day training camp last week which culminated yesterday in the Green Army claiming their first victory under the new Coach with a 1-0 victory over Spain.

Ireland will travel to Valencia on Thursday 21st February 2013 ahead of their opening encounter with Czech Republic on Monday 25th February 2013 before facing Belarus the following day. The Green Army will then face hosts Spain for the 4th time in a month on 2nd March 2013 before finishing off their World League 2 campaign v Italy on 3rd March 2013.

Speaking to Hockey.ie following the squad announcement, Electric Ireland Irish Women’s Coach Darren Smith said "I'm very excited about the squad we have been able to select to participate in the World League 2. After three matches and seven training sessions the group improved significantly and we were especially happy with the progress over the test matches vs. Spain. Nine days like this is a perfect opportunity to get to know each other.  

Smith continued: "Shirley McCay returned from an extended break from the squad where she spent some time travelling overseas. Although Shirley worked hard and played well in the Saturday match the tournament in Valencia has come a little too early for her to be fully prepared. This will be a tough tournament and we are excited about the challenge ahead. Spain are a quality team and we expect a tough battle against Czech Republic, Belarus and Italy. The biggest challenge will be getting this group to its full potential and all of us will work hard to fulfil this." 

Ireland Squad

  1. Niamh Atcheler (UCD)
  2. Aine Connery (Corinthian)
  3. Nicci Daly (Loreto/Holcombe HC, England)
  4. Nikki Evans (UCD)
  5. Emma Gray (Hermes)
  6. Nicola Gray (UCD)
  7. Michelle Harvey (Pegasus)
  8. Lisa Jacob (Hermes)
  9. Sinead McCarthy (Hermes)
  10. Katie Mullan (UCD)
  11. Anna O'Flanagan (UCD)
  12. Audrey O'Flynn (Hermes)
  13. Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins)
  14. Pamela Smithwick (Old Alex)
  15. Emma Smyth (Railway Union)
  16. Alex Speers (C) (Railway Union)
  17. Nikki Symmons (Loreto)
  18. Chloe Watkins (UCD)

World League 2 Fixtures – Spain (All times local)

25/02/2012 Ireland v Czech Republic (10:30am)
26/02/2012 Ireland v Belarus (11:00am)
02/03/2012 Ireland v Spain (1:00pm)
03/03/2012 Ireland v Italy (11:00am)


Source: Irish Hockey Association Media Release