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Ireland hockey team stops off in Santry on their way to Rio

Published: 15th June 2016

Trinity’s Sports Grounds played host to the recent senior men’s hockey international between Ireland and Canada. Although the game ended in a 2-2 draw, overall the team was happy with their performance as they move ever-closer to the Olympics in Rio in August.

TCD alum and number 6 Ronan Gormley commented afterwards: “We put in some good performances against them today; we just lacked a bit of discipline to follow through in the second half. Over all though I think we can be pretty satisfied.” The Santry match was Ireland’s final outing in this four-game series against the Canadians, who they will also be competing against in Rio. Gormley admitted that they had learned a lot about their opponents who are currently ranked 14 in the world, two places behind Ireland.

Former BESS student Gormley, who graduated in 2005, was full of praise for the facilities in Santry. “This is far superior to anything that was here when I was here. It’s a terrific surface – perfect for an international match. Hopefully we’ll play another one here in the near future.” Gormley isn’t the only alum associated with Ireland’s senior men. Conor Harte also attended Trinity, as did team manager and strength and conditioning coach Stephen Barry.

This is the first time, since 1908, that the national men’s hockey team has qualified for the Olympics. However they are still “very much focused on the present” according to head coach Craig Fulton. “This block is so important for Rio – you can’t bypass this. Right now it’s all about the next training session, the next match, the next recovery session. We are still in a preparation phase.”

A squad of 27 Ireland players were present for the Canada game in Santry. Over the next few weeks it will be up to Fulton and his staff to trim this back to a final 18 who will travel to Rio.