Irish beach volleyball team to star in Continental Cup
The Irish soccer team may not have made it to a major tournament this Summer, but the Irish beach volleyball team has.
The CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup starts on the June 22 and team Ireland will mark their first appearance in the tournament by playing in Bournemouth, against team England.
The team who train in Dollymount will take part in the tournament which hosts total of 44 National Federations, with 40 represented in both genders.
This accounts for an impressive 80pc of the CEV affiliated member countries, with a terrific increase since the inaugural edition completed in 2012 where 31 and 32 National Federations had registered for the men’s and women’s competition respectively.
The 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup consists of 3 phases: - The first phase consists of 2 rounds and is scheduled to be played in 2014 - The second phase consists of another 2 rounds and is scheduled to be played in 2015 - The final phase includes the semi-final and final rounds and is scheduled to be played in 2016
The eventual winners of the Continental Cup will get the right to participate in the Beach Volleyball tournament of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro while another two countries will have a second opportunity to qualify to the Olympics via the Intercontinental Final Round that will also take place in 2016.
While it is difficult for fans to accept that Ireland are not competing in what has already been a wonderful World Cup campaign and also given the fact that the European Championship qualifying group stage has proven to be quite a difficult one, this may be the only Irish team performing on the big stage for a while.