Courtesy of the Irish Hockey Association
Green Machine head coach, Alexander Cox, has today announced his World Cup squad of 20 players that will travel to Bhubaneswar in India for the showpiece event. The team will be the first Irish men’s hockey team to compete at a World Cup since 1990.
Speaking at the announcement, Cox said “I am proud to announce our World Cup squad. The camps we had in Ireland and overseas were very good and allowed me to see the potential of all the players in our training panel. The 20 players selected give me the most options in defense, midfield and attack. We are very much looking forward to the upcoming tournament in Valencia which will be our first test as a team as we look towards the World Cup”
Ireland, currently ranked 10th in the world, sit in Pool B with world number 1 Australia, number 7 England and number 17 China. The world number 1 always prove a potent threat and they picked up the Champions Trophy title during the summer as well a victory the last time Ireland faced them, but both sides have changed since then with former coach Fulton opting for a young squad at that Azlan Shah Cup while the Kookaburra’s will be without the experience of Mark Knowles, following his retirement from international hockey.
“The camps we had in Ireland and overseas were very good and allowed me to see the potential of all the players in our training panel. The 20 players selected give me the most options in defense, midfield and attack.”
Alexander Cox, Ireland Head Coach
England are a more familiar opponent but could also offer some surprises with Danny Kerry taking the helm following the conclusion of the Women’s World Cup in London. The two teams will come face to face prior to the Odisha World Cup getting underway as they meet in Valencia for a 4 Nations Tournament with Spain and the Netherlands in the coming days.
The Green Machine and China only seem to cross paths at major tournaments every few years, and the last time was at World League in Belgium 2015 on route to the Olympics. No fewer than 11 of the current squad were involved in that 6-0 victory over China and 10 of the squad played a part in the 2013 4-0 victory so the men in green have a plethora of experience to call upon.
Ireland's men's team for the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018:
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