young stars get ireland call
Published 08/12/2011 | 05:00
men's hockey: Players from the form teams have been rewarded with places in the international training panel announced by Irish coach Paul Revington, writes David Medcalf.
The elite senior squad is dominated by the foreign legion, with clubs in England, The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain all represented. All 18 men who helped Ireland finish a creditable fifth in the European championships in the summer are included.
However, Revington has indicated that no one's place is sacrosanct as he plots the challenge for a place at the Olympics.
And he has called up a raft of ambitious young players into his 'peripheral' squad of 22 with a promise that they are all in with a chance of making the cut for the Olympic qualifier at Belfield in March.
Among those recruited are Richard Sykes and the Cole brothers, David and Stephen, who join Monkstown clubmates Gareth Watkins and goalkeeper Davy Fitzgerald in the international set-up.
Monkstown test their new-found status as league leaders in Leinster with a match on Saturday against once dominant Glenanne, who are represented only by Joe Brennan in the Ireland senior squad.
Banbridge have three places in the peripheral line-up -- Philip Brown, Drew Carlisle and Stephen Dowds -- while Lisnagarvey's Johnny Bell and Peter McDonnell have also muscled their way into contention.