New-look Ireland take on Olympic-bound Great Britain
Ireland’s men will look to build on their encouraging series win over Scotland last weekend as they test themselves against Olympics-bound Great Britain at Bisham Abbey next week.
Those were their first games since November 2019 and coach Mark Tumilty handed 14 players a first taste of senior international hockey, running up two wins out of three games.
Tumilty will again take the opportunity to have a look at some new faces.
Banbridge’s Luke Roleston will be the fourth goalkeeper to get his chance to shine this summer, joining Jamie Carr on the roster.
Outfield, Cork C of I youngster Kevin O’Dea will line out in midfield alongside Nick Page who has joined the Irish setup. Page, 24, is a former England Under-21 international who qualifies for Ireland with an Irish grandparent.
Matthew Nelson is also available and he joins his younger brother Ben in the line-up.
Of the uncapped players deployed against Scotland, Ben Nelson, Mark McNellis, Kyle Marshall, Fergus Gibson, Johnny Lynch, Ian Stewart, Sam Hyland, Ben Nelson and Conor Empey are back for a second series.
“With some senior players unavailable due to work commitments, this is an excellent opportunity to give some of our younger players exposure to games against a top ranked nation,” Tumilty said.
“The players will have benefited greatly from the Scotland games and we look forward to the challenge these GB games will offer.
“I am pleased to have Nick [Page] available for these games. Ideally it would have been better to have integrated him into the squad in a training environment but unfortunately COVID has not made that possible.
“Nick brings extra competition for places and this is something I feel is vital for the long term goals of the senior men’s squad.”
The games will be GB’s first since their Olympic panel was announced and offers a high-quality test for Ireland as they continue their preparations for August’s EuroHockey Championships II in Poland.
Ireland men’s panel for Great Britain series – June 27 to July 1 (Bisham Abbey): Jamie Carr (KHC Leuven), Luke Roleston (Banbridge), Mark McNellis (Lisnagarvey), Tim Cross (Annadale), Peter McKibbin (Lisnagarvey), Sam O’Connor (Glenanne), Kyle Marshall (Beeston), Fergus Gibson (Loughborough Students), Daragh Walsh (Three Rock Rovers), Sean Murray (KHC Leuven), Jonny Lynch (Lisnagarvey), Kevin O’Dea (Cork C of I), Michael Robson (Annadale), Nick Page (Old Georgians), Sam Hyland (YMCA), Neal Glassey (Crefelder HTC), Ian Stewart (Corinthian), Ben Walker (Three Rock Rovers), Johnny McKee (Crefelder HTC), Matthew Nelson (Crefelder HTC), Ben Nelson (Lisnagarvey), Conor Empey (UCD)
June 28: Ireland v Great Britain development panel
June 29: Ireland v Great Britain
July 1: Ireland v Great Britain