Mossley Hockey Club is set to host its third major tournament of the season in the New Year.
The Glade, which has already staged the Irish Boys’ under-16 and under-18 Interpros and a ladies’ international series in 2013, will be the setting for a four nations under-21 men’s international competition in February.
Ireland will go head-to-head with Germany, Scotland and England in the tournament and local interest lies with Glademen Ben McMillan and Neal Glassey among those in contention to feature at the event.
Ireland’s U21 boys’ coach Jonny Caren says the chance to prepare on home soil for next summer’s Europeans is invaluable.
“I am extremely delighted to have this opportunity to have a four nations tournament against some of Europe’s top teams being hosted here, in preparation for our European B Division tournament in Portugal this summer,” he said.
“This current squad of players has huge potential over the coming years and I am personally excited to be working with the Under-21 program in preparing them both for competition and hopefully a future on the senior international hockey stage working towards Rio in 2016.”
Funding for the tournament has been secured by Irish and Ulster Hockey from both Sport Northern Ireland and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Newtownabbey Mayor Fraser Agnew said the competition would strengthen the area’s reputation for hosting high-profile sporting events.