Graham Shaw, who coaches the Irish women’s hockey side, gives RTÉ Sport the lowdown on how their male counterparts made it to Rio 2016, what lies ahead in their Olympic campaign and who will be the key men in determining Ireland’s fortunes.

Craig Fulton’s charges face India in their Group B opener at 3pm Irish time on Saturday.

The Netherlands will provide the opposition at 10pm on Sunday, with Germany lying in wait at 4.30pm on Tuesday.

Canada and Ireland clash at3pm on Tuesday and the group action conclude with an encounter against Argentina at 11.30pm on Friday.

Shaw believes Ireland strength in depth will serve them well.

“There are strengths across the whole team,” he said.

“You can’t play international hockey anymore just having some stars in the team and the rest of the team are weaker players.

“You’ll find that we’re strong all the way across the board.

“Obviously, there are key positions that the guys need to do well in.

“That central defence partnership between Paul Gleghorne and Conor Harte, with Jonny Bell probably to step in, is very, very important.

“Alan Sothern is always a threat inside the circle.

“I think there are goals in our team, it’s just making sure we have our defensive structure right to set up those opportunities in attack.”

One man in particular came in for particular praise - International Hockey Federation Goalkeeper of the Year David Harte.

“I think Davy Harte is a massive influence, when you look at the qualifiers and world league three, he was absolutely outstanding,” Shaw added.  

“I think he’s going to have a huge impact in the games.

“If Davy plays well and gives the back four in front of him that level of confidence, we’ll be in good stead.”