Trio named in Ireland squad for European tournament

Ireland's Megan Frazer. Photo: Presseye / Inpho
Ireland's Megan Frazer. Photo: Presseye / Inpho

Three East Antrim players are part of Ireland’s senior women’s hockey squad for this week’s EuroHockey Championships II in Prague (July 18 to 26).

Goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran, who is from Larne, is joined on the panel by Ulster Elks players Shirley McCay and skipper Megan Frazer.

Ayeisha McFerran.

Ayeisha McFerran.

Ireland, under new coach Graham Shaw, have been drawn in Pool A with Czech Republic (world ranked 35), Ukraine (26) and France (24) and will be looking for a top two in the tournament to gain promotion into the top division in European hockey.

The tournament comes just weeks after the Hockey World League in Spain, where the Green Army narrowly missed out on Olympic qualification.

Ireland will be the highest ranked team in the tournament and will look to capitalise and channel the positives from several impressive performances in Valencia.

Shaw said: “The objective of this tournament is a top-two finish to secure promotion back to A Division. This is very important for this squad and the path we want to take.

“With seven changes from the squad that went to Valencia, it shows the real strength in depth we have in Irish hockey with the calibre of players we have called in.

“The squad selected has flexibility with multiple players able to operate in more than one position and physically fit to cope with the heat in Prague”.

Irish Squad for the upcoming European B Division in Prague: 1. Ayeisha McFerran

2. Stella Davis; 3. Ali Meeke; 4. Kerri McDonald; 5. Hannah Mathews; 6. Clio Sargent; 7. Shirley McCay; 8. Megan Frazer (c); 9. Yvonne O’Byrne; 10. Gill Pinder; 11. Nicci Daly; 12. Chloe Watkins; 13. Emily Beatty; 14. Naomi Carroll; 15. Chloe Brown; 16. Deirdre Duke

17. Kate Lloyd; 18. Katie Mullan

Ireland’s pool matches are as follows: Saturday, July 18 (13:30), France; Sunday, July 19 (20:15) Ukraine; Tuesday, July 21 (17:45) Czech Republic.