Wednesday 11 December 2019

No plans for '5s' team as Ireland wait on Olympics move

The FIH announced last week it will introduce a five-a-side World Cup in 2023 (stock photo)
The FIH announced last week it will introduce a five-a-side World Cup in 2023 (stock photo)

Stephen Findlater

Hockey Ireland has no immediate plans to put in place a Hockey5s international team as it waits to see the International Hockey Federation (FIH) plans to develop the new variation.

The FIH announced last week it will introduce a five-a-side World Cup in 2023, leaving well-placed commentators fearing it could be a Trojan horse to replace the traditional 11-a-side version at the Olympic Games.

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If it does, it could mean a major shift in focus for national federations. To that end, Hockey Ireland has only recently committed to running - albeit self-funded - indoor international teams and this could add another version to account for.

High performance director Adam Grainger says the governing body "have not yet considered our involvement or development of a 5s team".

He added that they are seeking advice on whether the Olympic shift is in the offing and discussing with national coaches the next course of action.

Hockey has been part of the games continuously since 1928 but came under threat after London 2012, only surviving exclusion at the last cut-off.

On home turf, the men's EY Hockey League has its last round before the winter break with Lisnagarvey looking to complete a perfect set of seven wins at St Andrew's against Glenanne.

The women's highlight sees UCD - champions in 2018 - host 2019 winners Pegasus at Belfield.

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