Ireland and Kampong goalkeepers endure mixed fortunes in fitness race

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics



Ireland’s star goalkeepers Ayeisha McFerran (pictured) and David Harte have had mixed fortunes in their race to be fit in time for the EuroHockey Championships in Antwerp this week.

McFerran – named the best goalkeeper at last summer’s World Cup – has been passed fit to take part in the competition despite missing series against Italy and Scotland in July. It is a massive boost as she was named in coach Sean Dancer’s first tournament panel with Liz Murphy, in her debut world ranking event, the other netminder.

McFerran recently signed for Dutch club SV Kampong following her return to Europe after four successful years at the University of Louisville.

She joins the Utrecht outfit which Harte has called home since 2012. The Cork man, meanwhile, has lost his race to be fit for the Euros and so Mark Ingram and Jamie Carr will vye for the number one shirt in their tournament which starts on Saturday against the Netherlands.

For the women, their panel features 15 of the players who won silver at the World Cup last summer with Bethany Barr, Sarah Hawkshaw and Murphy the players coming in.

From EHL Women qualifiers Pegasus, Ireland’s most capped player Shirley McCay will add to her current total of 290 caps.

For the Irish men, they feature a number of changes from the side named by Alexander Cox for the FIH Series earlier this summer. Hampstead & Westminster’s Stu Loughrey, Jeremy Duncan, Kirk Shimmins and Jeremy Duncan all come into the side along with former Kookaburra Tim Cross who completed three years away from the Australian setup to switch allegiance.

Matthew Bell and Matthew Nelson were named as reserves; Luke Madeley is injured while Neal Glassey is taking a break from the panel.