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Mullan's delight with squad back together

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Katie Mullan. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Mullan. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Mullan. Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland's World Cup hockey heroines finally returned to collective training last Saturday, almost six months after their last session together.

It was the first time since mid-February that all 34 players and management got together for a camp in Abbotstown.

At present, different Covid-19 guidelines apply to sport north and south of the border but Irish captain Katie Mullan says there is less confusion in hockey.

"As an all-Ireland organisation it's very straightforward for us. We just all follow Hockey Ireland's protocols," she said, which, under the umbrella of Sport Ireland, are in line with the Irish Government's rulings.

"It's a bit of a moving target but hopefully we'll be back playing club games by October at least," she said.

The global pandemic has already postponed the team's long-awaited Olympic debut in Tokyo.

"It's been very difficult, especially the week that would have been the opening ceremony and our first game," she admitted. "But, in a way, we're back really loving our sport again. When you're doing it to such an intense level you sometimes forget how much you love hockey."

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