Mossley are crossing fingers, toes and whatever else they can cross, in the hope that the predicted snow and frost stays away, and the Under 21 4- Nations tournament can get underway this evening at their Doagh base.
Ireland’s young guns will open proceedings with a game against Scotland at 5pm, with England playing World Cup Junior champions Germany, at 7pm.
It promises to be three nights of high octane hockey and according to the organisers tickets are flying out as they are expecting bumper crowds.
Playing games at night does have its problems, as temperatures will drop but Mossley are prepared. They have a been in contact with the pitch manufacturers who have provided a special solution that can be applied to the playing surface which will allow games to go ahead, even in extreme icy conditions.
This is a tremendous coup for Mossley Hockey Club to host such a prestigious tournament and they have been working flat out since getting the nod from the IHA that they were to host it.
But it has only been achievable with the support of many people, as the Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Fraser Agnew said, and he is clearly delighted to have the tournament in the Borough.
“I am delighted to see such a high profile tournament come to the borough and we look forward to visitors from Germany, Scotland, England and the four corners of Ireland seeing what Newtownabbey has to offer.
“We would also like to thank Sport NI for the opportunity to bring an event of this calibre to Newtownabbey”.
Irish Under 21 squad: Jamie Wright (Ulster), Sam O’Connor (Leinster), Kirk Shimmins (Leinster), Michael Robson (Ulster), Ravin Nair (Leinster), Sean Murray (Ulster), Ben McMillan (Ulster), Peter McKibbin (Ulster), Johnny McKee (Ulster), James Lorimer (Ulster), Mark Ingram (Leinster), Neal Glassy (Ulster), Ben Cosgrove (Ulster), Lee Cole (Leinster), Nick Burns (Munster) , Peter Brown (Leinster), Matthew Bell, (Ulster), Matthew Allister (Ulster).