Tumilty names squad for crucial Canada ties
Mark Tumilty is keen to see his Ireland men's hockey side getting back to deploying players in their regular positions as he announced his Olympic qualifiers panel to meet Canada on October 26 and 27.
In so doing, the Ireland coach has made six changes to his predecessor Alexander's Cox 18 for August's ill-fated Europeans. The most obvious will see Sean Murray and Michael Robson take on midfield roles rather than being used as auxiliary forwards. That opens the door for both Peter Caruth and Jonny McKee to return.
With Matthew Nelson also returning, it gives the forward line some serious pace to work with.
"We want to have people playing in their regular positions," Tumilty said of the squad named.
"That was something me and (assistant coach) Jason Lee were clear on when we first met the group. It is hard enough playing international hockey and then try and adapt to new positions. I am happy with the squad - I think there is a good balance."
He can also call on Chris Cargo to bring experience to the midfield, after work commitments ruled him out of much of this year's calendar to date.
The other two changes see captain and talisman David Harte back from injury, while Dave Fitzgerald will be reserve goalkeeper ahead of Mark Ingram and Jamie Carr, who is laid low by a knee injury.
Missing out are Paul Gleghorne at the back, Ben Walker, Stephen Cole and Kirk Shimmins from the Euro line-up, while the tournament comes too early for Luke Madeley following a broken bone in his foot.
Walker and Cole will travel as cover with Eugene Magee the main doubt.