Hockey squads named as destiny draws near
Irish hockey have today announced the two squads of eighteen who will represent both the National Men and National Women’s hockey teams at their respective upcoming Olympic Qualifiers.
The Men’s tournament is the only Olympic Qualifier to be held in Ireland and gets under way at UCD in a little over a week.  Ticket sales have been faster than anticipated and it is likely that a number of the games in the six team tournament will sell out.
Electric Ireland are the principal sponsors of the tournament and will have the company brand on the jersey’s as they do long term for the Women’s team.  There are still secondary opportunities for companies to get involved in the event which will feature a fan’s village on campus, and be streamed live to each of the participating countries.  Games will be televised on Setanta and the final is likely to be shown live on RTE.
Speaking at the team announcement Coach Paul Revington said “It is a big honour to be hosting this 2012 Olympic Qualification Event and I know this Team will do their best to make Ireland and their fellow Irish Squad mates proud.”
The women’s side will travel to Belgium to compete in their tournament from the 17th – 25th March and will face Spain, Belgium, Mexico, Russia and France.
Coach Gene Muller said “We have worked hard for this tournament and our team is ready. We will need to be at our very best to qualify for the Olympics. Our main threats are Spain and Belgium. Spain have been at every Olympic Games since 1992 and Belgium are a rising force in world hockey. “
“Our team is sincerely grateful to our supporters and especially the Irish Sports Council, Sport Northern Ireland, The Irish Sports Institute, the Olympic Council of Ireland, the Sports institute of Northern Ireland, and Electric Ireland. Their support has put us in a position to qualify for London 2012.”
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