Ames vows to return for Ireland

David Ames insists his loyalty still lies with Ireland — but has yet to set a date for when he will end his self-imposed international exile.

Ames, 23, and his former Cookstown team-mate Ian Sloan — now based in England with Beeston and Loughborough respectively — have been the subject of rumours that they are considering making themselves available for Great Britain, following in the footsteps of fellow Ulster men Iain Lewers and Mark Gleghorne.

Such a move would require a three-year “wilderness” period out of the international game, back-dated to the last time they lined out to Ireland. Neither player has donned the green jersey since March’s Olympic qualifiers, and both are simply listed as “unavailable for selection” by the Irish Hockey Association. Both are absent from Andrew Meredith’s squad for the Champions Challenge I in Argentina later this month, although Sloan is currently injured.

However, midfielder Ames yesterday said he intends to return to the Irish fold at some stage and add to his 64 caps: “I am just enjoying the break at the minute. I have just landed my first full-time job and I want to commit to that over the next few months,” he told the Belfast Newsletter.

“However, I will be heading home to Cookstown for Christmas, but whenever I return here then I will decide when I will make myself available for selection.

“I’m still an Irish player and that’s the way I want to remain.”

Asked if he might retire from the international game to concentrate on club and work commitments, Ames said: “No, I’m too young to retire. There are still a lot of things that I want to do internationally in terms of playing at major competitions and doing well on the global stage.”

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Ireland look to seal nations cup final place

Bryan O’Reilly sees off cousin to reach first All-Ireland final

Mark English back on track as World test beckons

The Tour when Dan Martin showed Grand potential


Breaking Stories

Limerick beat Cork to earn second Munster U21 hurling title in three years

Furious Dublin GAA fans call for boycott at Croke Park over ban of large flag on Hill 16

Under 21 semi-final decider tonight at Gaelic Grounds

Tyson Fury: "The End"

Lifestyle

Mobile library on the move to bring joy to Cork communities

Three great routes for summer scrambling fans

Back to Ballybeg with the Mundy sisters

More From The Irish Examiner