The Setanta Sports Trophy sees some of the big hockey nations descend on Dublin to compete in the tournament, beginning today and running for four days at the National Hockey Stadium, UCD.
Ireland, South Africa, Scotland and Olympic champions Germany make up the pool on the women’s side of the tournament and Ireland, Canada, Egypt and Wales make up the competition on the men’s side.
Both Ireland’s senior teams are excited about competing in front of home crowds and these matches are key in their preparation for the European Championships, now just two months away.
Said men’s national coach Dave Passmore: “After a good training camp at the weekend we are ready for the Setanta Sports Trophy. The tournament provides three different styles of opponent which helps us in our preparation for Europe and beyond.
“Our aim is to play a positive style and set a high tempo which should make the matches exciting to watch for hockey enthusiasts or the public in general. We have targeted a final spot as our objective and if we can achieve that, we will take it from there. We worked hard at our set pieces over the weekend and despite missing Mark Gleghorne and Timothy Cockram, they were going well,” he continued.
Tickets are available online at www.hockey.ie or the ticket box office at the National Hockey Stadium.
Ireland last played Egypt at the World Cup qualifiers last year, losing 2-3 after dominating the game and being 2-1 in front with 12 minutes to go.
Ireland’s women’s pool will be keenly contested with South Africa currently ranked two places ahead of Ireland in the world rankings and the Olympic champions, Germany, currently ranked fourth in the world. Scotland also provide tough opposition for Ireland regularly at the Celtic Cup.
Tonight: Ireland v South Africa (w), 6pm; Ireland v Canada (m), 8pm.
Tomorrow: Germany v Scotland (w), 5pm; Egypt v Wales (m), 7pm
Friday: Germany v South Africa (w), 1pm; Canada v Wales (m), 3pm; Ireland v Scotland (w), 5pm; Ireland v Egypt (m), 7pm.
Saturday: South Africa v Scotland (w), 1pm; Ireland v Germany (w), 3pm; Egypt v Canada (m), 5pm; Ireland v Wales (m), 7pm.
Sunday: Women 4th v 3rd, 9am; Women 2nd v 1st, 11.25am; Men 4th v 3rd, 2.05pm; Men 2nd v 1st, 4.30pm.