With just over 4 months to go until our Senior Men are off to Barcelona for the World Roller Games we spoke with newcomer to the team this year, Yan Lhert.
Can you tell us a bit about your hockey career? The levels of inline you have played in the US and Europe?
I grew up in Los Angeles and I've been playing Ice & Inline hockey for around 20 years now. In 2016 I played in the AIHL (American Inline Hockey League) with the Oakland Dragons.
For the 2017-2018 season, I made the jump across the pond to play in Spain with the Barcelona Tsunamis in Liga Oro.
This year, I'm playing in the AIHL with the Mavin Mayhem, and in Narch with Aztecs HC.
How did you find out about Inline Hockey Ireland and in particular the national programme? What will it mean to you to pull on the green jersey in Barcelona this summer?
I first discovered Inline Hockey Ireland when women's team competed at the Tsunamis tournament last year in Barcelona. It was cool to see a new national team growing the sport. My mother is Irish, so I followed the progress of the program, and when an open tryout for the Men's team was announced, I didn't hesitate to book a flight over to participate.
Getting the call up was an honor and I consider it a great privilege to get to play with my maternal countrymen against the world's best at WRG. My mother, ever the proud Irishwoman, could not be happier, and that alone makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth it.
Since the team has been announced, there's been a lot of curiosity from friends and family, many of whom did not know that Ireland fields a hockey team. It's exciting to have an opportunity to change that, and help grow the sport I love in Ireland.
What will you look to bring to the team to be successful this summer?
I always try to be the hardest working player on the rink, chasing down every puck, never giving up on any play, and being a thorn in the oppositions side. Ireland is still in the early days of it's inline program, so for us, every battle is important. We can all bring a positive and hard working attitude, and with time, we will develop as a team and the results will come.
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few question Yan and congratulations on the selection. All the best in preperations for the summer!
As our National Programmes continue to grow and evolve unfortunately so does the cost of running them.
In 2019 we will be spending over €50,000 to prepare and send teams to compete in international competitions and as it stands these costs fall on the players and their families.
We need your help to meet our target of raising 10% through fundraising and help minimise the costs to players!
More details on how to donate in the link, makeachamp.com/inlinehockeyireland