Four of the seven nations arrived in UCD in Dublin today to begin on site training for the ESB Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I which commences at UCD this coming Saturday the 18th June.
Ireland, USA, Azerbaijan and India have already arrived at UCD to begin their preparations while Spain, Japan, South Africa and Scotland are due to arrive over the next 48 hours.
The event is for teams ranked 9th -16th in the world. Ireland’s women, currently ranked 15th, will face Spain, India and Azerbaijan ranked 10, 11 and 14th respectively in the FIH world rankings in pool B.
Pool A will see Japan, USA, South Africa and Scotland fighting it out for the best seeded position in the classification stages.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Liam Molloy, General Manager ESB Electric Ireland said “We are delighted to welcome the competing nations here today. The ESB Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I is a fantastic opportunity for the Irish teams to test themselves in front of a home crowd, against other nations who will also be fighting to qualify for the Olympics over the next 12 months.”
National Women’s Coach, Gene Muller said "We will come into this tournament on the backdrop of a period of hard training so we will want to play well to do our preparations justice. All the teams here are very close in world rankings so there will be no opportunities for us to take anyone lightly. All teams want to get momentum from the start and therefore our opening match versus India is very important."
Tickets start at €5 and can be purchased on line at www.hockey.ie or on the day of the event at the ticket office located beside the National Hockey Stadium, UCD.
Source: Irish Hockey Association Media Release.