Canada test on two fronts as Ireland target Olympic Games

Ayeisha McFerran and Ireland face Canada for a spot at the Olympic Games. Pic by Frank Uijlenbroek.
Ayeisha McFerran and Ireland face Canada for a spot at the Olympic Games. Pic by Frank Uijlenbroek.
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Ireland’s Olympic Games hockey qualification hopes hang on a challenge from Canada across two fronts.

Both the men and women must meet Canada over back-to-back tests in pursuit of securing a spot at the Tokyo tournament.

Ireland women’s push for a first appearance at the Olympic Games will include Dublin dates on November 2 and 3 - with home advantage a significant boost for last year’s World Cup silver medal winners.

Ireland men visit Vancouver for games across October 26 and 27.

“No draws are easy,” said Hockey Ireland performance director Adam Grainger at the draw in Switzerland. “In terms of the women’s team, we are delighted to be at home 18 months on from our World Cup success and play a game of importance here in Dublin.

“We’re looking forward to having home support cheering the girls on towards their first appearance at an Olympics.

“For the men’s squad, travel away will be challenging and Canada are a similarly ranked team to us, but we are confident in the senior men’s players that have qualified for the Olympic Games before and know what it will take to get us to Tokyo.”

Canada sit three spots higher than Ireland men at 10th in the World rankings. Canada women are currently ranked 15th compared to Ireland’s eighth.

A number of Northern Ireland-born players will represent Great Britain men against Malaysia.

The Olympic Games’ hockey schedule will run from July 25 to August 7.