Ulster well represented in Ireland men’s hockey squad for Rio Olympics

Lisnagarvey captain Jonathan Bell has been selected for the Rio Olympics
Lisnagarvey captain Jonathan Bell has been selected for the Rio Olympics

Seven Ulster players have been selected for Ireland men’s hockey squad for the Rio Olympics.

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) and Hockey Ireland confirmed their 16-strong panel on Monday.

Lisnagarvey captain Jonathan Bell has been included along with club team-mates Michael Watt and Paul Gleghorne – whose brother Mark is part of the Great Britain squad.

Banbridge skipper Eugene Magee is also in the squad, along with is Peter Caruth.

Also named are Chris Cargo and John Jackson, while Timmy Cockram and Michael Robson will be travelling reserves.

Rob Johnson, Acting CEO for Hockey Ireland, said: “To be the first field team sport to represent Ireland at an Olympics in 68 years is a historic achievement.

“And to be a selected team member in this history-making side is an incredible personal achievement - congratulations to each and every one of the players selected!

“Head Coach, Craig Fulton with his support team, has stretched the squad, raising them to higher performance levels.

“This has required a huge amount of dedication and many sacrifices from every member of the larger squad. I would like to thank everyone in the larger squad of players for the dedication and extreme focus of every single one of them during the qualification campaign.

“I know that Craig’s final decision on selection was extremely difficult.

“On behalf of Hockey Ireland I would like to wish the team the very best of luck and to say that we will all be supporting you throughout the Olympics.”

Ireland – ranked 12th in the world – will be in Pool B alongside world number two ranked Netherlands, defending Olympic champions Germany (3); India (5); Argentina (7); and Canada (15).

Ireland squad: Jonny Bell (Lisnagarvey), Chris Cargo (Racing), Peter Caruth (Annadale), Mitch Darling (Rotterdam), Paul Gleghorne (Lisnagarvey), Kyle Good (Monkstown), Ronan Gormley (Krefeld), David Harte (capt, Kampong), Conor Harte (Racing), John Jackson (Reading), John Jermyn (Cork C of I), Eugene Magee (Banbridge), Shane O’Donoghue (Dragons), Alan Sothern (Pembroke), Kirk Shimmins (Pembroke), Michael Watt (Lisnagarvey).

Travelling reserves: Tim Cockram (Lisnagarvey), Michael Robson (Annadale), David Fitzgerald (Monsktown).