Irish Men’s Coach Andrew Meredith has named his squad for the upcoming Rabobank World League Semi-Finals in Rotterdam from the 13th-23rd June 2013. Meredith has selected the 18 from an original training panel of 30 after two recent intensive training camps and a two-match test series against Germany in Mannheim which saw the Green Machine tie the series 1-1 with the reigning Olympic Champions.
Meredith’s selection sees the return of experienced duo Timmy Cockram and Peter Caruth who missed the Green Machine’s outing at World League 2. The squad also includes a number of players who have excelled in the recent Irish Hockey League with Peter Brown, Kyle Good and Jonathan Bell in particular all rewarded for putting in stellar performances in Irish Hockey’s premier domestic tournament this season.
Ireland are placed in Pool B of the tournament and face top class opposition in the form of the Netherlands, New Zealand & India. Pool A will feature Australia, Spain, Belgium and a yet to be determined qualifier from the final World League 3 tournament in Russia taking place at the moment. Quarter Finals, Semi Finals & Final line ups will be determined following Pool completion with games taking place on 19th, 21st, and 23rd of June respectively.
The Green Machine will need to finish in at least the top 6 of the tournament to have a chance of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
- 13th June 2013 India v Ireland (15:30 Local Time)
- 15th June 2013 New Zealand v Ireland (09:30 Local Time)
- 17th June 2013 Netherlands v Ireland (20:00 Local Time)
Speaking to hockey.ie Andrew Meredith said: ” The last month of preparation has given us an extremely solid platform as we move forward into the final phase of our preparation. I have been very impressed with not only the level of commitment and discipline that has been brought to each training commitment by the group, but very satisfied with the integration and performance of the young talented athletes that were selected, who have tracked very well in the recent training camps and who will be a very important part of the program moving towards the end of the summer. The performances last week in Mannheim would indicate that we certainly still have a bit of fine tuning to do before our first game of the tournament, but the win against Germany certainly suggests that we are headed in the right direction”
Meredith continued ” After their unavailability and injury in February, Timmy Cockram and Peter Caruth return, while Jonathan Bell has been selected coming off very strong performances in the IHL and EHL. Peter Brown continues to progress after a very solid WL2 in India and player of the IHL finals. Al Sothern has shown a great killer instinct up front when he returned to international hockey as the top goal scorer of the tournament in Delhi, and the selection of Kyle Good is reward for not only his recent good form in front of the goals, but in Kyle, we have one of the fastest Penalty Corner push-outs in international hockey.”
Meredith also discussed the development of the full training squad and how this squad selection was his most difficult to date in Ireland ” We are very comfortable with where we are at in regards to the composition of the current squad. The players that have been selected for the larger decentralised program have performed well and continued to improve in the camp environments, and the general team curve of physical testing results are at highest levels recorded. When the staff sat down and discussed selection for this tournament, it was without question, the most difficult decision process I have been involved with since I entered the program, which is a pretty good indicator that we are an extremely solid and positive place regarding depth. The blend of experience from the senior squad members and injection of enthusiasm and energy of the younger players, has given us a very positive group dynamic in the last weeks, and those who have been selected are hungry and looking forward to the challenge of competing with the world’s best in Rotterdam, and meeting our objectives.”