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Fox dreaming of glory as Ireland make European Indoors return

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Orla Fox will lead Ireland’s return to European indoor action this weekend at one of her favourite venues, returning to the Bratislava scene where she landed club glory back in 2011. Stock photo

Orla Fox will lead Ireland’s return to European indoor action this weekend at one of her favourite venues, returning to the Bratislava scene where she landed club glory back in 2011. Stock photo

Orla Fox will lead Ireland’s return to European indoor action this weekend at one of her favourite venues, returning to the Bratislava scene where she landed club glory back in 2011. Stock photo

Orla Fox will lead Ireland's return to European indoor action this weekend at one of her favourite venues, returning to the Bratislava scene where she landed club glory back in 2011, writes Stephen Findlater.

Railway Union landed gold back then in the third tier of European competition, Fox's first such experience which ended with both success and promotion.

Nine years on, she will captain Ireland in the same hall as they enter the international Europeans for the first time since 1990.

Ireland will play hosts Portugal on Friday morning at 10 in the first of six games. After that, it is Spain, Finland, Denmark, Slovakia and Slovenia in quick succession over three days with the top two earning promotion.

No side has a current world ranking with each country either returning to the code or competing for the first time.

As such, Fox says another gold might be a possibility but it is almost impossible to know.

"This week is very much an unknown but that could work in our favour. It is our first tournament back and teams won't know anything about us," she said.

"Really, really looking forward to what we can do because there are some really talented players in the team and hopefully we can push and do well."

"From club experience in Europe, some of the skills from players of nations you wouldn't expect to be good from outdoors are incredible.

"They play so much indoor that their skill level and ability to read the game was something that took us a game or two to get used to."

Fox is joined in the panel by star midfielder Chloe Brown who won an English indoor title last year with East Grinstead. Amy Benson is the goal-getter from play while experienced outdoor internationals Ali Meeke and Naomi Carroll provide the nous in midfield.

Elsewhere, the Irish outdoor side have a double in Stellenbosch with a game against Germany tomorrow and a Sunday date with South Africa.

Irish Independent