Covid 19 Update

Hockey Ireland’s Covid-19 Group met today to discuss the recent announcements regarding Covid-19 restrictions made by the Irish (ROI) Government and the Northern Irish (NI) Executive.
The following changes have been made to Hockey Ireland Covid-19 guidelines:
(Please note: These restrictions do not apply to Irish Senior International squads under Sport Ireland’s elite exemption)
As per Level 3 guidelines, adults in ROI will be allowed to return to non-contact training with immediate effect. Training must be in pods of maximum 15 (including coaches/managers) and socially distanced at all time.
Competition/matches may not be played at any level.
For All Ireland Competitions:
Hockey Ireland’s principle of all clubs competing on a level basis in relation to Covid-19 restrictions remains in place.
No all-Ireland hockey competition (EYHL1, EYHL2 or Cups) will start until a 4-week lead-in period has passed that would start from the point in time that training be allowed on the entire island of Ireland.
Training for EYHL clubs will be allowed if permitted under the Government rules but this will be reviewed once the current period of lockdown for Northern Ireland has passed on December 11th.

Competitions – Level 3 Confirmation

Now that it is confirmed that the whole country is going to Level 3 from midnight tonight (06.10.20), I want to remind everyone that all competitions below Division 1 have been suspended until we revert to Level 2. At the very minimum matches scheduled for the next 3 weekends will be postponed. Branch Fixtures Secretaries will refix all these games. All teams below Division 1 can continue to train but it must be in pods of 15, which includes the coach/manager etc.

Division 1 teams can apply for postponements if they don’t wish to play their scheduled matches on health and safety grounds, however, postponement rules MUST be followed.
Please note that the Charity Cup and Examiner Cup are deemed to be Division 1 competitions. Matches that involve Div.2 teams competing in these competitions will go ahead as scheduled.

Munster U16 Girls Update

The following 24 have been selected by the management team:

 

Anna Campbell Crescent Comprehensive Crescent
Robin Caren Scoil Mhuire Ashton
Ali Clein Crescent Comprehensive Catholic Institute
Éabha Curran Regina Mundi Ashton
Aisling Curtin Midleton College Midleton
Ashling Fahy Laurel Hill Secondary Limerick
Sarah Fitzgerald Crescent Comprehensive Catholic Institute
Aoife Kavanagh Ursuline Thurles Cashel/New Inn
Anna Keal Gaelcholáiste Carrigaline Harlequins
Isabelle Martin Scoil Mhuire C of I
Róisin McGrath Ard Scoil Na Mara Waterford
Katie Moore Bandon Grammar Harlequins
Susie Nolan Scoil Mhuire Ashton
Róisin O’Brien Crescent Comprehensive Crescent
Beth Ann O’Farrell St. Angela’s Harlequins
Beatrice O’Hare Mt. Mercy Harlequins
Katie O’Keeffe Scoil Mhuire Harlequins
Bronagh O’Shaughnessy St. Angela’s Ashton
Rachel O’Shea Mt. Mercy Belvedere
Trixie Pearse Crescent Comprehensive Crescent
Áine Power St. Angela’s Harlequins
Molly Quirke Laurel Hill Colaiste Catholic Institute
Meabh Russell Loreto Clonmel Clonmel
Ruby Walsh Scoil Mhuire Harlequins
Manager Annette Fitzgerald
Coaches George Blackwell
Ingrid Burns
Zack Waters

Munster U18 Girls Update

The following 24 player panel has been selected by the management team:

Name School Club
Rachel Barry Bandon Grammar Bandon HC
Aoibheann Collins Crescent College Comprehensive Catholic Institute
Lauren Cripps Mount Mercy Cork Harlequins
Seodhna Dervan Crescent College Comprehensive Catholic Institute
Jilly Edwards Crescent College Comprehensive Catholic Institute
Siri Forde Mount Mercy Cork Harlequins
Alex Hally Hewitt College Dungarvan HC
Andrea Hally Dungarvan HC
Alex Kenny Regina Mundi Ashton HC
Isobel Kingston Scoil Mhuire Cork Harlequins
Jules McCarthy Regina Mundi Cork Harlequins
Julia McCarthy Ashton Cork Harlequins
Heather McNamara Scoil Mhuire Ashton HC
Robyn Murphy St Angela’s Ashton HC
Amy Nangle Scoil Mhuire Cork Harlequins
Clodagh O’Connor Mount Mercy Belvedere HC
Joy O’Kelly Mount Mercy Cork Harlequins
Alison O’Rourke Regina Mundi Cork C of I
Amy O’Shea Mount Mercy Cork Harlequins
Leah O’Shea Mount Mercy Cork Harlequins
Jill Roberts Scoil Mhuire Ashton HC
Kate Ryan Ursuline Thurles Catholic Institute
Amy Smyth Bandon Grammar Bandon HC
Elizabeth Tuohy Scoil Mhuire Ashton HC

 

 

Management Team:

Head Coach Darren Wilkinson
Manager Colette Coomey
Assistant Coach Steven Scanlan
Assistant Coach Brian Collins
GK Coach Conor Beck

U18 Boys Squad Announced

The Munster U18 Head Coach Ashley Smyth and Management Team have selected the following 20 players for the next phase of preparations for the Interpros.

Seán Bateman – Ashton Comprehensive – Cork Church of Ireland
Aaron Brodkorb – Midleton Collage – Midleton HC
Mark Collins – Bandon Grammar School – Cork Church of Ireland
Paul Curtin – Midleton Collage – Midleton HC
Cian Dorgan – Ashton Comprehensive – Cork Church of Ireland
Kyle Fitzmaurice – Newtown School – Waterford HC
Tiarnan Gaffney – Villiars School – Limerick HC
Callum McCourt – Bandon Grammar School – Bandon HC
Christian Oggel – Villiars School – Limerick HC
Ian Perrott – Bandon Grammar School – Bandon HC
Ben Ryan – Midleton Collage – Midleton HC
David Ryan – Midleton Collage – Midleton HC
Angus Seigne – Bandon Grammar School – Bandon HC
Bailey Stuart – Midleton Collage
Bryan Smyth – Villers School – Catholic Institute
Karl Smyth – Bandon Grammar School – Bandon HC
Jonathan Spillane – Midleton Collage – Midleton HC
Donnagh Toomey – Newtown School – Waterford HC
Rory Treacy – Newtown School – Waterford HC
Jamie Venner – Ashton Comprehensive – Cork Harlequins

Team Management:
Head Coach – Ashley Smyth
Assistant Coach – Mervyn Young
GK Coach – Ivan Bateman
Manager – John Dennis
Manager/Covid Officer – Samantha Dorgan

 

Munster U16 Boys Update

The Munster u16 Head Coaches Andrew Whitaker and Simon Wolfe and management team have selected the following 21 players for the next phase of preparations for the Interpros:

Name School Club
Evan Bolster Midleton College Midleton HC
Matthew Carry Ashton School Midleton HC
Georóid Cashman Christians Brothers College Cork Midleton HC
Sean Curtin Midleton College Midleton HC
Sam Dale Bandon Grammar School Cork Harlequins
Darragh Daly Midleton College Cork Church of Ireland
Toby Edmondson Newtown School Waterford HC
Glen Gash Bandon Grammar School Bandon HC
Joe Glossop Ashton School Cork Harlequins
Callum Griffin Christians Brothers College Cork Cork Harlequins
Joshua Hamilton-Foott Bandon Grammar School Bandon HC
Harry Jackson Ashton School Cork Church of Ireland
Sean Landers Kinsale Community School Cork Harlequins
Zac Moloney Villiers School Limerick HC
Luka Novakovic Crescent Comprehensive Catholic Institute
Robert Olden Midleton College Midleton HC
David Persse (GK) Villiers School
Dylan Sandes Midleton College Midleton HC
Ronan Shire Villiers School Limerick HC
Eoghan Smyth (GK) Midleton College
James Young Ashton School Cork Harlequins
Team Management:
Co-Head Coach  Andrew Whittaker
Co-Head Coach  Simon Wolfe
GK/Asst. Coach  Peter Coulter
Team Manager  Hope Davidson

Competitions – Level 3 Preparation

In preparation should any area in Munster go to Level 3 restrictions, the following has been decided by the Competitions Committee and the Management Committee of the Munster Branch:

1. Any match that involves a team from an area that are in Level 3 restrictions will be postponed, with the exception of Division 1 games, until such time as we revert to Level 2.

2. Any postponed matches will be refixed by the relevant Branch Fixtures Secretary.

3. This will essentially mean all leagues below Div.1 will be suspended while we are in Level 3. Of course, matches that don’t involve teams from affected areas can go ahead as scheduled.

4. If teams in Division 1 don’t wish to play their games during Level 3 restrictions, we will accept postponement requests on health and safety grounds but Competition Rules around postponements MUST be followed i.e. postponement form submitted at least 7 days in advance (with the exception of the first weekend of Level 3 restrictions), another date must be agreed with the opposition etc. Please refer to Rule 7 of Competition Rules for more details.

All of the above is in line with current government protocols and guidance from Sport Ireland, taking into account exemptions granted by both bodies.

Women’s Season Preview 20/21

The new women’s season pushes back on Saturday the 19th of September with the resumption of the Munster Senior League.  Since the 19/20 season was cut short there has been quite a lot of movement of players which looks like making the Munster Senior League stronger and more competitive than ever.

In EY 1 Cork Harlequins and Catholic Institute have to wait another week to start their campaigns with Irish cup finals taking centre stage this weekend.  Cork Harlequins have seen 7 players exit with 2 coming through the gates but with a strong crop of youngsters coming through they should be able to manage this turnover.  The team will again be led by World Cup Silver Medalist Yvonne O’Byrne and experienced defender Cliodhna Sargent.  Irish underage panelist Michelle Barry continues her development as she is named vice-captain – she will be key at the attacking end of the pitch.  Quin’s first game is away to Muckross and this could be a good barometer for what half of the table they are likely to feature at this season.  Catholic Institute on the other hand have recruited well with 8 joining the panel, half of these from UCC.  David Passmore’s side probably lacked the strength in depth last season but this seems to have been rectified now.  Roisin Upton remains the linchpin in the side and provides the ammunition from corners.  Laura Foley’s sharpness up front with Naomi Carroll will also be a key feature this season for goals from play.  Irish underage keeper Hannah Humphrey’s move means Institute now have a strong panel of goalkeepers  – her agility between the posts means Insitute are going to be even tougher to score on this season.  Institute’s first game is at home to UCD who will be sharp having played an ISC final the week before.

The Munster Senior League has never looked so competitive as it does this season.  Champions UCC have had a big turnover of players in and out of the club over the off season.  The addition of Irish underage players Nikki Barry, Sarah Murphy and Laurna McHugh will bolster a squad with potential to push for an EY1 spot.  C of I have possibly recruited the best in the offseason with ex-players Emma Barber, Alex O’Grady and Becky Maye returning after playing with Harlequins for a few seasons.  Niamh O’Leary also joins bolstering a very strong midfield that already contains Hollie Moffett and Nicola Kerr.  Ashton and Bandon meanwhile have more settled squads with a couple of key additions from their strong youth sections.

 

Cork Harlequins Hockey Club

Cork Harlequin’s will yet again be fighting for a top 4 finish in EY Division 1 this season after last season was cut short.

Position Last Season: EYHL Season null and void

Coach: Darren Collins (3rd year)

Manager: Vanessa Sargent (1st year)

Captain: Yvonne O’Byrne

Vice Captain: Michelle Barry

Players In: Siri Forde (from Church of Ireland), Niamh Sexton (back from America)

Players Out: Emma Barber (Church of Ireland), Niamh O’Leary (Church of Ireland), Becky Maye (Church of Ireland), Alex O’Grady (Church of Ireland), Nikki Barry (UCC), Sarah Murphy (UCC), Enya O’Donoghue (UCC).

Young Players to watch out for: Lauren Cripps, Leah O’Shea.

Key Players: Cliodhna Sargent, Yvonne O’Byrne, Michelle Barry.

Season Aspirations: We are looking forward to competing in the EYHL 1 league for another season after last year finished so abruptly. We have lost some very good players but have some promising younger players coming through and allied with our core of experienced players we hope to have a successful season.

 

Catholic Institute Hockey Club

A strong Summer of recruitment with more strength in depth puts Catholic Institute in a good position for the season ahead.

Position Last Season: EYHL Season null and void

Coach: David Passmore (2nd Year)

Assistant: Ger O’Carroll

Manager: Brenda Moloney

Captain: Roisin Upton

Vice Captain: Laura Foley

Players In: Michelle Barrett (returning from UMass), Aebhfhinn Bourke (UCC), Hannah Humphries (UCC), Aine Ryan (Trinity), Lauren Ryan (UCC), Muireann Scanlon (UCC), Pam Smithwck (Old Alex) Kate Ryan (Crescent HC)

Players Out: Anna Horan (UConn, USA), Sophie Clein (exams), Nicole Griffin (exams), Jilly Edwards (exams)

Young Players to watch out for: U16 internationals Sarah Fitzgerald and Kate Ryan have fitted in well at training along with U19 triallist Becky Foley who has returned after an extended break with an ACL injury.

Key Players:  The spine of the team will be key led by last year’s captain and sweeper Christine O’Shea and this year’s skipper Roisin Upton who brought an attacking threat to the team in the second half of last season after she return from the wrist injury sustained in the Olympic Qualifiers.

Season Aspirations: The addition of four players from UCC, three returning to the club will add strength and depth which was lacking last year.  After struggling to cope with the intensity of the league in the early part of the season last time out we are hoping that the form shown post Christmas can allow us to consolidate our EYHL1 status

Coach Comments: “It has been great to have a larger squad to prepare with more intensity over the summer and fitness levels are improved on last time around which should allow us to be competitive.  There is a great buzz around training and the players are looking forward to the season ahead” 

 

University College Cork Hockey Club
A significant turnover of players this season but no doubt they will be challenging to retain the MSL title.

Position Last Season: 1st

Coach: Graham Catchpole (2nd year)

Manager: Colette Coomey (3rd year)

Hockey Development Officer: Paidi Hartnett

Captain: Emma Cripps

Vice Captain: Hilary Balding

Players In: Laurna McHugh, Abi O’Mahony (Cork Church Of Ireland), Nikki Barry, Sarah Murphy, Enya O’Donoghue, Jane Murphy (Cork Harlequins)

Players Out: Saoirse O’Leary (Old Alex), Judy Mills (Ashton HC), Aebfhinn Bourke (Catholic Institute), Lauran Ryan, Muireann Scanlon (Catholic Institute), Hannah Humphreys (Catholic Institute), Aoibhinn Martin (abroad)

Young Players to watch out for: There has been a large influx of new talent to the panel this season.  Nikki Barry joins as a Quercus scholar this year and will add her impressive skillset to the group.  Sarah Murphy has impressed greatly since joining and her versatility, distribution and calmness in possession will be a big feature this season.  Her sister Jane and Abi O’Mahony have shown their attacking prowess in preseason while the addition of Laurna McHugh between the posts is a huge boost to the panel.

Key Players: Emma Cripps, Jenny Clein and Aoife Collins continue in the spine of the team this season and are hugely important to the team from a defensive and attacking standpoint.  Emma reads the game well and is incredibly hard to beat in a one on one.  Jenny’s trickery and directness in attack makes her a threat wherever she picks up the ball on the pitch.  Aoife is a proven goalscorer and has shown it in preseason already with a handful of goals.  We are also seeing the emergence of a number of other leaders in the team in Hilary Balding and Roisin O’Dea.

Season Aspirations: We expect the Munster League to be very competitive this year with the top teams strengthening their squads.  Our goal is to retain the title and go one further in EY2 and qualify for the playoffs.  We have Monkstown in the first round of the ISC also and are looking forward to another close match up with them.

Coach Comments:There has been a large turnover of players this season with 6 players coming in and 7 players exiting.  It will take some time for these players to settle into a new team and a very different college experience.  The players have been looking sharp in preseason with S&C coach Patrick Ryan putting them through their paces along with some good competitive friendly matches to get us up to speed.  We are looking forward to the start of what looks like being a very competitive Munster Senior League and are hoping to again make an impact in EY2.”

 

Cork Church of Ireland Hockey Club
Strong recruitment may give C of I the edge this season domestically and in EY2.

Position Last Season: 2nd

Coach: Phil Oakley (first season)

Manager: Sarah Jones (second season)

Captain: Hollie Moffett

Players In: Niamh O’Leary (Harlequins), Alex O’Grady (Harlequins), Emma Barber (Harlequins), Becky Maye (Harlequins), Pamela Wolfe (UCD).

Players Out: Kate Burke, Orla Crowley, Claire Hickey (retiring), Laurna McHugh, (UCC), Abi O’Mahony (UCC).

Young Players to watch out for:  Hannah Kate Finn – Exciting talent from Kinsale. Started her career with Kinsale HC and attends Bandon Grammar. Irish U18 last year. Versatile player – plays in midfield and up front.

Gill O’Leary – Strong defender and midfield player from Regina Mundi. Broke into the squad last year and has continued to improve into this season.

Key Players: Emma Barber – Significant experience having played EYHL1 with both UCC and Cork Harlequins in recent years. Her distribution on the ball coupled with her defensive skills will add hugely to the team. Also a threat from penalty corners.  Hollie Moffett – Former Irish international with a wealth of experience. Her passing range and skills on the ball will provide the team with a strong anchor in midfield.

Season Aspirations: Improved performances in both EYHL2 and Munster league. We have entered Irish Senior Cup to assess where the team is in relation to EYHL1 teams.

Coach Comments: “We are really looking forward to the season and delighted to have fresh faces in the squad, which will create competition for places. We have a good mix of youth and experience within the group and we will hopefully improve on our performances from last year at both provincial and national level.”

 

Ashton Hockey Club
A settled panel with some key additions from a strong youth academy.

Position Last Season: 3rd

Coach: Darren Wilkinson (2nd Season)

Manager: Mary-Claire Cummins (3rd Season)

Captain: Ailse Holland

Vice Captain: Shauna Fagan

Players In: Judy Mills (UCC), Laura Lynch (UCC), Rebecca Allen (UCC)

Players Out: None

Young Players to watch out for: A product of the club’s youth section, Ireland U16 midfielder Robyn Murphy will be looking to make an impact in her first season with the Div 1 squad. Robyn, along with fellow Munster U18 players, Elizabeth Tuohy and Heather McNamara, are definitely ones to watch.

Key Players: Kate Harvey has been an important player for us and will be looking to have a positive influence on the team’s performances again this season. Tracey Johnston finished last season as the team’s top goalscorer and will be hoping to add to her tally this year. Isabel Janssen Cahill has been in excellent form between the posts for the past few seasons and will be a crucial player for us once again.

Season Aspirations: We are aiming to finish at the top end of the league table and to pick up some silverware this season.

Coach Comments: “With new players and young players joining the squad, to add to the quality of the players remaining from last season, it should be an extremely positive and exciting season. There has been a huge amount of competition for positions on the squad this year which shows the club is in a very strong position. I look forward to building on all the hard work that was put in last season and helping this group of players reach their potential.”

 

Bandon Hockey Club
A strong blend of youth and experience capable of beating any side on their day.

Position Last Season: 4th

Coach: Ashley Smyth (3rd Year)

Captain: Ingrid Burns

Vice Captain: Olivia Roycroft

Players In: Lily Carey (from Waterford), Aoife Roche (from UCD)

Players Out: Rachel Desmond (Studying abroad). Marla Diltzer (Germany)

Young Players to watch out for: Sophie Brady- Newest member to the women’s team, her solid defending and great link up play makes her the up and coming talent for the season. Jenny McLaughlin – She is a player beyond her years, her eye for the game and quick decision making, will defiantly cause concern for any opposition she will come up against.

Key Players: Rachel Barry (GK) Solid and proactive keeper, has great vision of the game, a talent to be watched this season, Olivia Roycroft – With Pinpoint accuracy and an eye for the goal it isn’t a surprise that she was top goal scorer last season and will be a big game player for this season to come. Aisling Moloney- Her silky skills and ever creative attacking nature makes her the deflection master which results in no far post being safe – goalkeepers watch out, Aisling will undoubtedly be a key player to watch for the season.

Season Aspirations: We are looking forward to the new season especially after how the previous season was cut short. We have a few new players who will add exciting and new types of play to the game, which will be of huge benefit for our team. This is our 3rd season with Ashley Smyth as coach and we will be striving to get into the EYHL 2 as well as competing for the top spot in the league.

Coach/Manager Comments: As the 2020/2021 season gets underway in a somewhat changed world we endeavour to continue as we left off last season. Having won the Examiner Cup, got to the final of the Munster Senior Cup and finishing 4th in an unfinished league, we hope to compete for the league title and strive to get into EYHL2. With a blend of hugely talented schoolgirls and experienced players this is going to be an exciting season for all. Welcoming back some old faces will make the places on match day squad very competitive thus driving our highly attended, fun and intense training sessions each week. With Ingrid Burns as Captain and squad members Amy Smyth, Rachel Barry(Munster U18s) Olivia Roycroft and ever dependable Pam Forde makes the blend of youth & ample experience a real force to be reckoned with within Munster this season.

 

 

Belvedere Hockey Club
A settled side that will cause a few upsets this season.
Coach: Eddie Kirwan (2nd Year)
Captain: Julie Cronin
Players In: None
Players Out: None
Young player to watch out for: Leah Hayes is one to watch for the future. The Munster U-16 representative is really talented and wants to test herself against the top players this year.
Season Aspirations: To improve on last year’s performances. To reach a cup final. To develop the very good young players who will play up this year.

Waterford Hockey Club
A number of exits but some young potential coming through.

Coach: David Quinn

Assistant Coach: Jonathan Earl

Captain: Elaine Breen

Vice Captain: Rachel Shute

Players In:  Aine Buggy (Kilkenny HC)

Players Out: Lily Carey (Bandon HC), Caoimhe Whelan(Uni), Anna Rafter (Uni) Deirdre Cotter (Uni), Kirsten Browne (Uni).

Young Players to watch out for: Katie Earl, Katie Leslie, Zara Notley, Grace O’Brien, Mia Jonston.

Key Players: Elaine Breen, Rachel Shute Mary Rose, Ruth Breen and Barbara Johnson.

Season Aspirations: Top half of Munster League and a cup run.

Coach/Manager Comments: “We are looking forward to the season and are hoping to develop this young side for the future.”

 

Limerick Hockey Club

No response.

Men’s Season Preview 20/21

The new men’s Munster Senior League pushes back on the 19th of September across the province.  This season we have three teams competing in EY2 in C of I, Harlequins and Bandon.  All three sides will be expecting to be competing at the top of the Munster Senior League also.  Interestingly all three have lost there key goalscorers from last season through the retirement of ex Irish International John Jermyn from 1st team hockey, and Julian Dale and Fionn O’Leary moving to Pembroke Wanderers in Dublin.

C of I remain unbackable favourites in Munster and despite the loss of some experienced players.  Jason Lynch returns to Cork after a long stint away and Philip Brownlow returns after a 1 year hiatus.  Kevin O’Dea continues to shine having recently broken into the Irish panel and there will be more focus on him now to fill John Jermyn’s shoes.  Fellow youngsters Rob Sweetnam, Mark Collins and Cian Dorgan make for an exciting and fast paced forward line – the key for C of I will be keeping the defence tight against stronger opposition.  Harlequins and Bandon will be vying to upset the C of I juggernaut as they set about blooding a few youngsters at this level too.  For Harlequins Jack O’Meara is going to be key at the back with the likes of John Whyte, Ross Bailey and Andrew Dale looking to fill the void left by Julian Dale.  Stephen Dale will not be afraid to blood more youngsters this season as the conveyer belt of talent continues with the likes of Jamie Venner Sam Dale and Jame Young stepping up.  For Bandon its all about closing the gap this season as they seem to have the most settled squad of the top 3.  The likes of Karl Smyth, Ethan Hamilton, Ian Perrott and Iarlaith O’Neill all have a few seasons under their belts at this level so it may be time for them to cause a few upsets.  Guided by captain Clinton Sweetnam and Ali Smith Bandon might be the surprise package this season.

The chasing pack will make for some very interesting match ups throughout the season.  Ashton and Catholic Institute struggled last year but both have managed to bolster their squads significantly over the break.  Waterford and UCC are probably a bit lighter on numbers this time around but will still be very competitive.  Midleton are the new kids on the block making their very welcome debuts at this level.

 

Cork Church of Ireland Hockey Club

Nailed on favourites in Munster again with their sights firmly on EY 1.

Position Last Season: 1st

Coach: Jonathan Bruton (1st Year)

Assistant: Les Ruddock (1st Year)

Manager: Barry Crowley (16th Year)

Captain: Philip Byrne

Vice-Captain: Simon Wolfe

Players In: Philip Brownlow (returning from a year out), Jason Lynch (Monkstown HC)

Players Out: Stephen Parker, John Jermyn and David Hobbs (retired from 1st team hockey)

Young Players to watch out for: Cian Dorgan, Rob Sweetnam and Mark Collins.

Key Players: Kevin O’Dea and Simon Wolfe. Kevin has recently been called into the Irish Senior Mens training panel. This will be his fourth season playing first team hockey. Despite still being in school Kevin has already proved to be a key asset to Cork C of I and has gained great experience over the last few years both playing with the 1st team and also captaining the Irish U18’s.

At the time of lockdown Simon Wolfe was back to his best form having previously been dogged with a back injury. A lot will be expected of Simon this year, particularly in front of goal as this is the one area the team have struggled in the last few seasons.

Season Aspirations: Our objective this year would be to get promoted to EY1 and also to defend our Munster Division 1 title.

Manager Comments:After the way last season ended so abruptly and with all the uncertainty about hockey returning we are just delighted to be getting back to play competitive hockey. We are really looking forward to the season getting started on Saturday. We have had a good pre-season and training under our new coach Jonathan Bruton has gone very well. We just hope that everything will run smoothly this year and that we will be able to enjoy the season.”

 

Cork Harlequins Hockey Club

Great blend of experience and youth in the squad with strong potential at national level.

Position Last Season: 3rd

Coach: Stephen Dale (3rd Year)

Manager: Kay Gaffney (1st Year)

Captain: Jack O’Meara

Vice Captain: Ross Bailey

Players In: None

Players Out: Julian Dale (Pembroke)

Young Player to Watch: Sam Dale, Jamie Venner, James Young.

Sam is part of the great Dale dynasty and measures up just as much as his older brothers, quick on his feet and will show promise this year. Jamie Venner is cool calm collected and shows experience well beyond his years. James Young make a full step up into Division 1 this year and shows great promise in defence.

Key Players: Jack O’Meara is going from strength to strength. Solid in defence and a true leader both on and off the pitch. He is ably supported by his vice captain Ross Bailey. Ross is an experienced midfielder despite his age. He commands midfield and drives the team forward. John Whyte shows explosive pace and a wealth of experience having being with the men’s 1st squad for a few years now.

Season Aspirations: Win MSL & Cup and reach Finals Weekend EYHL 2. Overall, the squad this year has great depth and experience and we hope to go far.

Coach Comments:  “We are hoping to play an open and attacking style of hockey scoring plenty of goals while being hard to break down and well organised in defence. Hopeful that everyone acclimatises themselves to the so called new normal around whatever restrictions may arise as a result of COVID-19.  We believe our good mix of both youth and experience will help us on our way to a successful season with all players stepping up and taking responsibility in all aspects of the game.”

 

Bandon Hockey Club

Consistent performers keen to make a mark on EY2 this season.

Position Last Season: 2nd

Coach: Nigel Buttimer (2nd Year)

Captain: Clinton Sweetnam

Vice Captain: Ross Smyth

Players In: Dave Jennings (Returning from year abroad in New Zealand)

Players Out: Fionn O’Leary (Pembroke Wanderers)

Young Players to watch out for: Karl Smyth, Ethan Hamilton, Ian Perrott, Iarlaith O’Neill.

Having all played at Irish underage, they all have matured hugely over the last year and now lead by example in the form of a more modern style of play. Iarlaith O’Neill being on of the best keepers in the country under the age of 21 gives a great base from the back having the ever reliable and clever Ian Perrott in front of him at left back creating great plays for Karl Smyth bossing the midfield playing slightly further forward in the attacking midfield position, and finally Ethan Hamilton chipping in with goals either scoring or assisting none stop

Key Players: Iarlaith O’Neill, Ross & Karl Smyth, Ethan Hamilton and Ian Perrott along with Clinton Sweetnam and Dave and Ali Smith.

Iarlaith will organise from the goal while being particularly good of Penalty corner defence, Ross and Ian Aid the attack as the left and right backs while Karl and Clinton are the link between the defence and attack with Dave, Ali and Ethan run the front line with plenty goals between them

Coach comments: “The aim is to maintain EYHL 2 status along with Winning the Munster league and Cup competitions. The league will be interesting with Bandon, Harlequins and COI all being quite even this year.”

 

Waterford Hockey Club

Further talent gone to Dublin but a steady stream of new blood coming through the stellar youth system.

Position Last Season: 4th

Coach: Stuart Greene

Captain: Rory Isaacs

Vice Captain: Ian Balding

Players In: David Storey (Three Rock Rovers)

Players Out: Isaac Johnson (Pembroke Wanderers) , Patrick Cooke (Rugby).

Young Players to watch out for: Rory Treacy, Donnagh Toomey and Kyle Fitzmaurice (Munster U18s). We will be looking for these three players to lead by example and to set a benchmark for the rest of the squad members to follow suit.

Key Players: Rory Isaacs, David Gahan,Ian Balding and Ben McInerney. Vital players who will bring skill and experience to a mixed aged team.

Season Aspirations: Like the last number of years we have had a few key departures from the club as our young members leave for University. We still will look to secure a Top 3 finish in the Munster League and to go as far as we can in the cups.

Manager Comments: “The coach is looking forward to the season ahead and is hoping to develop and bed in some more younger players for the future.”

 

University College Cork Hockey Club

Great talent coming into the panel but strength in depth may be an issue.

Position Last Season: 5th

Coach: Coach Andrew Scannell (2nd Year)

Manager: Steven Scanlan (1st Year)

Captain: Conor Beck

Vice Captain: Tristan Walsh, Sam Lilburn.

Players In: Cian Sparling (Catholic Institute), Conor McCormack (Midleton), David Whitaker (Returning).

Players Out: Darren Wilkinson (Ashton), Brian Stockil (Ashton), Steven Scanlan (Ashton), Reece Hawtrey (Ashton), Billy Mulcahy (Ashton), Barry Cronin (Enniscorthy)

Young Players to watch out for: Conor McCormack looking to further strengthen UCC’s defence with his composure and strength on the ball. The potential for a second strong year from James Feely and Sam Lilburn after they made strong statements in their first year at the club last year.

Key Players: Conor Beck looking for another superb year in front of the goal for UCC, after saving us multiple times last year. His first year as captain he will look to lead from the back. Up front we will look toward Simon Dring for our short corners as he looks to build on his goal tally from last year. Tristan Walsh looking to build on multiple key consistent performances last year moving up the field from defence on the ball.

Season Aspirations: Build on last year and try and have a good cup run again as we were disappointed not to be able to contest the Munster Senior Cup Final.

Coach Comments: “The prospect of a new season is extremely exciting, however it will be different this year for everyone especially a college team. Between new players arriving late and students moving to Cork later adds to the challenge. Having said that we are up to the challenge. We had a few older members depart but this will allow younger players to step forward. Adding a few new faces to the squad remaining from last year it should be an extremely positive season. Preseason has been mixed for us as a team but each team had these challenges. The work we have done should mean we are ready for the season to start”

Ashton Hockey Club

Strong influx of players that may take some time to settle.

Position last season: 7th
Coach: Andy Gray (1st season)
Manager: Malcolm Coombes (2nd season)
Captain: Stuart O’Grady
Vice Captain: Brian Stockil
Players in: Steven Scanlan, Brian Stockil, Darren Wilkinson, Billy Mulcahy, James Allen, Reece Hawtrey (UCC), Cian Kavanagh, Henry Donnelly (both returning from year out)
Players out: John Catchpole, Mark Falvey (both year out), Calvin Casey (New Zealand), Craig O’Byrne (UCC)
Young players to watch out for: Jamie Cronin. Exciting prospect in goal. Likely to be no.2 for the season but will gain lots of experience training with the 1st team every week. Played in friendly against Munster U.18s and kept a clean sheet.  Rory Conway is another to look out for – he will be looking to break into the 1st team panel too by the end of the season and make his impact in the front line.
Key players: David Mills will be key to Ashton’s attacking play this season with his ability to break from deep in the pitch.  Not just a natural goalscorer but has a good eye for a pass in compact areas.  The return of Brian Stockil is also a welcome addition to a midfield – he will bring a workrate and intensity at both ends of the pitch.  Up front James Allen has the ability to beat any player one on one and has an eye for goal.
Season aspirations: Finish in the top half of the table and push the EY2 teams close.
Coach comments: “We have recruited well over the summer and the squad is looking in good shape ahead of the season opener. Performances are improving with each friendly we played which resulted in 2 wins, a draw and a loss. Hope to go on a good cup run in the IHT, MSC or Peard Cup, looking to avoid the big guns in the early rounds and we would seriously look at the Charity Cup to pick up some silverware.”

Catholic Institute Hockey Club

Experienced additions to an already solid squad.

Position Last Season: 7th

Coach: Gary O’Connor (Player/Coach)

Manager: Ivan Moore

Captain: Gary O’Connor

Players In: Simon Brickenden (abroad), Tiernan Gaffney (Limerick HC), Bryan Smith (Limerick HC), Adam Gardiner (Limerick HC), Nick Lampp (Limerick HC)

Players Out: Gerard Hodgkinson ( Moved to Limerick HC)

Young Players to watch out for: Chris Ryan, Tiernan Gaffney, Bryan Smith

Key Players: Looking forward to the season ahead where the welcome addition of Tiernan Gaffney and Bryan Smith , both Munster underage players will add to the young and upcoming players within the Institute camp .  In addition Nick Lampp and Adam Gardiner both bring strength in experience and skill set to further bolster the squad .

Season Aspirations: Opportunity is the key word for the club this year as we look to build and strengthen the squad , all of our new signings offer versatility with the ability to play multiple positions and we will look to combining these with some of the returning full time players such as Simon Brickenden.  This season we aim to improve and develop our talented group of young members while introducing an entertaining and effective style of hockey. We really look forward to competing again after a long lay off and hope to compete at the highest level possible.

Coach/Manager Comments: “As with all hockey club’s we endure peaks and troughs with regards to performance and player availability , this season should be the beginning of a new peak for the club as we look to build on a squad with existing experienced players such as Gary O’Connor ( C ) , Hugh Walsh , Ed Gleeson , Cormac O ‘ Byrne .  We have a clear long term / short term vision of what we want to achieve and will build to those goals from week to week , the squad looks forward to the challenges set in place for them and look forward to the opportunity of success both in Munster and on a national level.”

 

Midleton Hockey Club

Strong underage structures are paying dividends as Midleton take the step up.

Position Last Season: 3rd Div 2

Coach: Andrew Whittaker & John Jeffery (3rd year)

Manager: Daphne Spillane (1st year)

Captain: Hugh Jeffery

Vice Captain: John Deane

Players In: Brandon McEvoy (from Queens University Belfast), John McEvoy (back after break)

Players Out: Conor McCormack (UCC), Jason Daly (UCC)

Young Players to watch out for: Ben Duffy, Dave Ryan, Ben Ryan, Aaron Brodkorp, Paul Curtin, Johnny Spillane. These lads have all come up through the ranks and will relish playing in division one. Johnny Spillane was our topscorer last season, so will be looking to him for more goals this year.

Key Players: Hugh Jeffery, Art Moore, Adam Beamish, John Deane – we have been able to build the team around these players which has given us the platform to compete in division one. We will be looking to Hugh to keep possession for us, while Art will cause a few problems for opposition defenders.

Season Aspirations: First time ever for Midleton to play in division one, we feel we can mix it with many of the teams. There will be tough days as well and we hope to improve and learn from them. We want to keep building on the hard work done over the last three years and learn how to deal with the higher standards demanded by Div 1.

Coach/Manager Comments: “We will have one of the most youthful panels in Munster div 1 with some notable exceptions but still the majority of the 1st team panel are well under 20 years old. Very exciting times with a conveyor belt of talent coming through, with many on u18 and u16 Munster squads from the club at present. We aim to consolidate this year safe in the knowledge that our underage system will see the club get stronger again in the years to come. It will be a steep learning curve for players and coaches and we will fight hard in every game. We plan to play exciting hockey no matter who we come up against.”

AGM Update

Email to all clubs from Branch Secretary Sally Kavanagh
Following the Management Committee Meeting of last evening, it was decided to hold the Annual General Meeting by means of Zoom.
The deadline for receiving the names of the voting representatives was yesterday and we did not have sufficient club representatives to reach the required quorum.
While it was our preferred option to hold a physical meeting from a practical point of view and to keep in line with the Munster Branch Constitution we believe that a meeting by conference video/call is now the best option, in these unprecedented times, in order to carry out the business of the Branch.
 I appreciate that some clubs have already nominated their representatives to the AGM but I’m going to ask you to do so again in case there are now any changes.
(Clubs with a men’s and a women’s section have 2 votes)
The deadline for receipt of these names is 9.00 am on Monday next, the 14th. September. Please note that any names received after that time will not be considered!
I will send the link to the club secretaries, sub-committee chairs and honorary life members as soon as I have it. We ask you, please, not to circulate the link as we need to preserve the integrity of the Munster Branch.
On a final note, I would like to remind you that we have no nominees for the positions of Vice-President, Division 4 Women’s Fixture Secretary (this competition can’t start without a secretary in place) and there are 2 vacancies for membership of the Management Committee.