AS if having the biggest representation on the Ireland U16 squad wasn’t enough, Drogheda Wolves BC enjoyed the honour of hosting the boys international team’s training sessions over the weekend.
Ireland U16s head coach Pat Price also held a Coaching Clinic on Saturday evening to help raise funds for the squad, and on Sunday 25 Wolves players got a rare opportunity to take part in a training session organised by the international coaches.
The talent coming through at underage level is remarkable and Wolves are proud to have three players on the 12-strong Ireland U16 squad in guard Conor Mac Criosta and forwards Finn Walsh and Jakub Malecki, while Max Tyndall is part of the U18 international team who are currently playing in their European Championship in Romania.
For a club as new as Drogheda Wolves it’s been an incredible 12 months, starting with the men’s team’s acceptance into the National League where they reached the National Cup Final and qualified for the promotion play-offs in their debut season.
They’ll be coached by Dave Biggins this coming season, with assistance from Noel Kierans and the club’s U16 Boys coach Emer Howard, while Cian Quinn will held up the senior ladies’ coaching team.
Reflecting on the weekend’s events, Emer said: “The U16 international team has been a nine-month programme since they first ran trials last October and we had offered to host training, but the coaches wanted to wait until we definitely had a big group of them.
“We have three who made the final cut - Ebenezer Ehigie just missed out because he had only been playing the game for a year and lacked experience - and to have a quarter of the Ireland squad is quite an achievement.
“Ballymakenny College gave us free court time for the weekend as well, which was brilliant as it’s normally very expensive.”
The international squad are making final preparations for the European Championships which take place in the Bulgarian capital Sofia between August 11th and 20th.
Back home, the Wolves have exciting plans for their adult teams and Emer explained: “We’re aiming for the men’s team to get promoted to the Super League in the next few years and we’re now getting the same kind of talent pool coming through among the girls.
“There’s a lot of development going on within the club and are now thinking of pushing ahead and entering the Ladies National League next year, but if not it’ll definitely be the following year.”