FOUR Munster players have been picked on the Irish squads for the international indoor hockey, which is due to take place at the Antrim Forum tomorrow Tuesday, and Wednesday this week.
The stadium is set for the return of an indoor tournament for the first time since the late 1980s as they host a men’s and women’s triple-header against Scotland.
Church of Ireland's Jason Lynch is named on the Irish men's side, with his fellow club player, Becky Maye named on the women's side. Also on the women's side are Hannah Kelly of Catholic Institute and Emma Buckley of Pembroke Wanderers, formerly of Cork Harlequins.
The first men's game is at 6.30pm tomorrow and on Wednesday they have two ties, at 10am and 2pm.
The women are in action at 8pm tomorrow night and again on Wednesday at 11.30am and 3.30pm.
Hockey Ireland indoor coach Kenny Carroll said: “It is really important that we showcase International indoor hockey in Ireland once again.
“It is a brilliant spectacle and great we have the opportunity to play at the Antrim Forum. I would like to thank everyone who has helped put this dual series together and to thank Scotland for taking us up on the opportunity to travel across at this time.
“It is brilliant our International men and women teams can play back to back matches. Finally, I would like to wish all participants well during the series and look forward to indoor hockey further growth over the coming years which will undoubtedly assist with the further development of hockey in general in Ireland.”
Even though both Emma Buckley and Becky Maye are playing with different clubs now, both learned their skills as goalkeepers with Harlequins, with the latter winning an Irish Senior Cup title with them a few years ago. Institute's Hannah Kelly was a reserve for the Junior World Cup.
Buckey is no stranger to international hockey, having captained Ireland at the U18 European Youth Championships in 2018 and has gone on to play at senior level for her country on a number of occasions. This will be Maye's first time lining out at senior level for Ireland and is the culmination of a number of years of hard work for the Garryduff based player.
Lynch has also lined out for Ireland and returned to his native club, Church of Ireland last year having played for a number of years in Ulster with Lisnagarvey.
“It will be great to see international hockey back in Antrim after 30 years,” Ulster Hockey development officer and Antrim HC member Johnny McMeekin said of the series.
“We look forward to an exciting international indoor series between Ireland and Scotland and, to welcoming all the players, officials, and spectators to Antrim Forum.”