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Irish 'keeper vows hockey medal win
28 Aug 2015 17:05
Goalkeeper David Harte says Ireland’s hockey team won’t be leaving London ‘without a medal’ following tomorrow’s European Championship third-fourth place playoff.
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Ireland take on hosts England in the bronze medal match on Saturday (2pm) having lost their semi-final to the Netherlands.
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“The morale is still high in the group and we said in the huddle we are not leaving here without a medal,” said Harte.
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“After the World League where we faced top teams like Australia, Belgium and England and this tournament with Germany and the Netherlands, we don’t fear anyone. We can focus on ourselves and what we can do as a group.”
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This tournament has already been historic for Ireland and a medal at the end of it would be a massive achievement.
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The Green Machine only narrowly missed out on Olympic qualification last month and since then they have put together an impressive sequence of results.
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They will start tomorrow’s game as underdogs, though Harte says this isn’t a problem.
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“Outside of us, there will be talk in the media about the lack of funding,” said the 27-year-old, who plays his club hockey in Holland.
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“It’s all about our incredible hard work, pride and the fact we have a strong group of players both here and at home.
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“If we were to continually to compare ourselves to groups who are more fortunate with funding, we might as well bang our heads off a brick wall. That’s not how it is for us and we are aware of that.
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“We’ve dealt with it magnificently over the last number of years to still come out and get results. It’s a sign of how much belief we have as a group and the togetherness we have,” said Harte, speaking to The Hook Hockey website.
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England are ranked fifth in the world, though Ireland have a relatively good recent record against them when they played them in their Great Britain form.
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The sides drew last month in the World League as well as in July 2014 at the Investec Cup. Shortly before that the teams shared a two-game series, which Ireland taking the first 2-1.
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