Hockey: Pembroke spring Panther in bid to boost Euro challenge
PEMBROKE WANDERERS have sprung a Panther in their bid for progress at the EuroHockey League in Holland.
The Dubliners meet perennial Ukrainian champions Olimpa Kolos Sekvoia at the Oranje Swart tomorrow and they have recruited the exotically named Brandon Panther from Swaziland to bolster their depleted panel.
The third South African to join the team at Serpentine Avenue may not have been quite good enough to make the national team competing at the Commonwealth Games, but he looked a fine signing at the weekend as he stepped off the plane to score one of the goals that beat Cork Harlequins.
Pembroke carried enough clout last year to reach the knockout stages of the elite European competition.
However, they have since been cruelly robbed of experienced manpower by a mass clearout over the summer as many of their best players were snapped up by continental clubs.
With Gordon Elliott not available for the Dutch assignment, they have just five players in their squad this time with experience of the European competition, led by Paddy Conlon and Alan Giles.
The winners of tomorrow’s showdown will be almost certainly make the last 16 of the competition, probably as runners-up in Pool E.
Pembroke face an even more intimidating match on Sunday, when they take on HGC of The Hague.