STEPHEN Dowds is a surprise exclusion from the Irish squad which has just been named by Ireland’s newly appointed coach Andrew Meridith.
Dowds has been in sparkling form for Banbridge, scoring six goals in four outings, and after winning six caps it had been envisaged that he would soon be adding to his tally.
Nine Ulster players have been named in the 23-man squad for the upcoming training camp next month from November 5-9 in Pinoke, Holland.
It will be the first time the squad will be together since Meridith took over as Head coach earlier this month.
“I am extremely excited to start working with an expanded playing group which will clearly give me a good insight as to where the group is at on a physical and technical level, as we move forward towards the Champions Challenge in Argentina next month,” said Meridith.
“A major objective of the camp is about learning. For me as the new leader of the group, it’s about gaining knowledge on the individual athletes, their personality’s, strengths and weaknesses. While for the players, it’s probably more in the direction of working through this adjustment period that occurs when a new coach becomes involved with a team for the first time, and learning how that affects the framework which they work in.
“We will of course work hard to analyse and to prioritise what we should be looking at in terms of targeting specific areas for immediate development and those which development can be extended over a longer period post Champions Challenge.”
The camp will see Ireland compete in a number of training matches against Dutch club sides during this five day camp. The squad for Champions Challenge I in Argentina (24th November – 2nd December) will be selected post this training camp.
The squad is:
Jonathan BELL Lisnagarvey; Jonathan BRUTON YMCA; Drew CARLISLE Banbridge; Christopher CARGO Reading (England); David CARSON Monkstown; Peter CARUTH Braxgata (Belgium); David COLE Monkstown; Mitch DARLING Three Rock Rovers; Brian DOHERTY Beerschot (Belgium); David FITZGERALD (GK) Monkstown; Ronan GORMLEY Krefeld HC (Germany); Conor HARTE SCHC (Holland); David HARTE (GK) SV Kampong (Holland); John JACKSON Braxgata (Belgium); Stuart LOUGHREY Loughborough Students (England); Jason LYNCH Krefeld HC (Germany; Eugene MAGEE Krefeld HC (Germany); Phelie MAGUIRE THC Hurley (Holland); Geoff McCABE Santander (Spain); Bruce McCANDLESS Banbridge; Andy McCONNELL THC Hurley (Holland); Shane O’DONOGHUE UCD; Michael WATT SCHC (Holland)