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

Inspirational Petra Kvitova wins in Paris on return from stabbing ordeal

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes probe car woes in Monaco

Driver walks away from horrific Indy 500 crash

Vettel Ferrari’s ‘number one’


Breaking Stories

Shane Duffy and Eunan O'Kane train ahead of Mexico friendly after road accident

Skibb's newest gold medallist reveals secret to success: bread and jam sandwiches

Barcelona have named Ernesto Valverde as their new head coach ... but who is he?

Huddersfield prepare for Premier League fairy tale

Lifestyle

MAKING CENTS: Solicitors’ fees add to the cost for house hunters

What you need to know when choosing a nursing home

Runner of the week: Pádraigín Riggs

5 things to do this week

More From The Irish Examiner