Ireland’s men’s and women’s squads have been announced for the EuroHockey Nations Championship taking place in Monchengladbach from 20-28 August.
Men’s coach Paul Revington and women’s boss Gene Muller revealed their squads for what will be their biggest tournaments this summer, and Ireland’s first opportunity to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.
A finish in the top two for the women will guarantee Ireland’s qualification, while a top-three finish would suffice if England can finish in the top two.
For the men, a top-three finish would secure an Olympic berth, but a top-four placing would be enough if England finish in the first three.
Revington, who is yet to finalise his squad, is optimistic of Ireland’s chances ahead of the tournament, saying: "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.”
Muller commented: “The Europeans is our premier event of the year and our toughest challenge.
“Our pool is extremely tough with Germany, England and Belgium 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.”
Ireland 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
Final preparation matches (all in UCD): 6 August 3pm Ireland v Argentina; 7 August 3pm Ireland v Argentina.
Ireland’s 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).
Final preparation matches (all in UCD): 4 August 7.30 Ireland v Spain; 5 August 7.30 Ireland v Spain; 7 August 12.00 Ireland v Spain; 12 August 5pm Ireland v Argentina; 13 August 4pm Ireland v Argentina.