Monday 20 November 2017

Irish ladies plan to get physical in Euros

Stephen Findlater, women's hockey

Irish coach Gene Muller says his side will adopt a more physical approach for the European championships in Monchengladbach, which get under way on August 20.

Muller called up Miriam Crowley and Niamh Small to his final panel for the competition, making it two changes in forward personnel from last month's Champions Challenge.

Ireland face world top-four sides Germany and England as well as Belgium in their group, needing to cause a major shock to breach the top two and stay in contention for one of the Olympic qualification places.

To do so, Muller says his side needs a tougher outlook: "Crowley and Small are more conservative than the alternates (Nicci Daly and Jean McDonnell) we didn't pick but are more able to play against physical types of defenders.

"Games will be tighter and more tactical. Mistakes will be magnified, whereas before we could get away with more and afford to pick players with more flair."

Ireland have five build-up games remaining before they head out to Germany, starting this evening against Spain in Belfield (7.30).

They finish their preparation next week with a pair of games against world No 1 side Argentina, again in Belfield.

details in factfile

Irish Independent

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