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'We can still up the standard in Ireland'

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O’Flanagan was on the mark in a 1-1 draw for mid-table Muckross against leaders Pegasus, their fourth draw in eight outings (stock photo)

O’Flanagan was on the mark in a 1-1 draw for mid-table Muckross against leaders Pegasus, their fourth draw in eight outings (stock photo)

O’Flanagan was on the mark in a 1-1 draw for mid-table Muckross against leaders Pegasus, their fourth draw in eight outings (stock photo)

Muckross star striker Anna O'Flanagan says the spread of talent across the women's EY Hockey League has made the national division as competitive as ever.

"The league is wide open and anything can happen. What's great to see is compared to before I went to Holland, there was only a couple of teams where you would get a good game and it was very top-heavy."

O'Flanagan was on the mark in a 1-1 draw for mid-table Muckross against leaders Pegasus, their fourth draw in eight outings.

Her side face bottom side Belfast Harlequins, but fellow internationals Serena Barr and Lizzie Colvin are likely to return.

While it is more competitive, O'Flanagan does feel there is work to do to raise the general level of play.

"We can still push the standard in Ireland; we can still play faster and push a more attacking style. You will still see teams defend deep and maybe that's just an Irish style. But, having played in Holland, you know that your right and left back are big attackers as well."

She was speaking at the announcement of Iwate Town - Japan's "cabbage capital" - as Ireland's holding camp base for their Olympic campaign..

It was also confirmed that the March training camp in Malaysia has been scrapped over coronavirus fears. An alternative camp is likely to be run in Durban, South Africa instead with China, Japan and Great Britain possibly in situ for Tests.

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