Tuesday 12 November 2019

Upton to miss Institute's top-tier debut after injury

'Róisín Upton is one player who will not be in action today - she misses Catholic Institute's debut in the top tier having sustained a broken wrist against Canada.' Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
'Róisín Upton is one player who will not be in action today - she misses Catholic Institute's debut in the top tier having sustained a broken wrist against Canada.' Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Stephen Findlater

The Women's EY Hockey League clubs will hope the euphoria of last weekend's Olympic qualifiers can filter through to the domestic competition which gets under way today.

How many of the stars involved for Ireland will line out for their clubs remains to be seen, however, with Hockey Ireland leaving their inclusion up to a case-by-case basis.

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Each international underwent a medical on Monday before going into a "regeneration period" until November 24 with players to have an "individual plan" put together before a return to a national programme later this month.

A new squad will be selected towards the end of December which will fall into line with the carding system for 2020.

Róisín Upton is one player who will not be in action today - she misses Catholic Institute's debut in the top tier having sustained a broken wrist against Canada.

The Limerick club will have the welcome services of Naomi Carroll following a year out with an ACL knee injury. The 111-time international will hope to use a strong club season as a springboard to push for a place in the forward line in Tokyo.

First on Insta's agenda is a crucial date with Muckross, who signed up Anna O'Flanagan as player-assistant coach for the campaign.

The Dublin 4 side only escaped relegation last term via a shoot-out, scoring just 11 goals in 18 league games, and so the striker is a key addition.

Sinéad and Jessica McGirr, along with Nikki Keegan, are other big signings from Loreto having won a number of All-Ireland titles between them.

UCD coach Miles Warren has prepared his side to have very limited use of Lena Tice during the season and they are already going well. While many other clubs have been twiddling their thumbs, his side won four rounds of the Irish Senior Cup and, last weekend, added yet another intervarsities title.

Niamh Carey has been going extremely well up front and could be a good shout for inclusion in the wider senior Irish panel. Their first outing is a trip to a decimated Cork Harlequins for whom Cliodhna Sargent and Yvonne O'Byrne are both out injured, Ingrid Burns and Olivia Roycroft have gone and Caoimhe Perdue is now with UCC.

With an incredibly young panel, Rebecca and Michelle Barry will be vital components.

In the men's EYHL, meanwhile, Lisnagarvey and UCD go head-to-head at Comber Road.

Irish Independent

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