On Sunday 14th November after a long break due to Covid restrictions we finally got our National Programmes restarted! Here we held the tryouts for Under 16 Boys, Junior Men and Senior Men at The Rink, Portadown, with the Senior Women tryouts to scheduled for a later date.
With players involved from 9 clubs, each session started with the coaching staff introducing themselves and explaining the objectives of the tryouts. Once on the rink players had their individual skills tested, their ability to understand exercises analaysed and gameplay observed. The coaching staff from each team will now name the players selected for the 2022 World & European Championships along with reserve players.
And so begins the hard work and preparation for the 2022 events, but first we hear from the coaches after the first day back.
James Glover, Senior Men Head Coach
“It was great to see the response to our open tryout. With covid restrictions it had been a while since some of the guys had skated and everyone done well to match the high tempo of the practice.
The addition of players from Junior Men who are moving up to Senior level as well as returning players will create much needed competition for places and force everyone to be better.
It’s fantastic to see the progression throughout our National programmes. We have almost a year now to get ready for Argentina and it will be an exciting opportunity for the players compete on the world stage in South America.”
Victor O'Brien, Junior Men Coach
"After such a long break due to the pandemic it was great to see the enthusiasm from all the players, in all the 3 different groups. It really didn't seem as though the junior men had that long a break. The coaches from all across Ireland should be really proud in the way that they got these guys ready for the trials.
It was also great to see some of the guys that represented Ireland in the junior men's in Barcelona really stepping up and putting pressure on the seniors.
Inline Hockey in Ireland is looking really positive at present, with all the juniors in the pipeline I'm excited to see what the future brings."
Ken Moussat, Under 16 Boys Head Coach
"After last year’s frustration when the U16 program had to stop just after the tryouts due to lockdowns, players only wanted one thing. To make it happen!
And we have already taken that very important first step last Sunday in Portadown. While the pool of players registered for the tryouts has decreased compared to previous years, we can take comfort in the high motivation emitted by those young players.
It is with those players that Ireland will finally be able to participate in its first European Championships. No matter what, those players are indeed writing an important page in IHI’s history.
Let’s wish them the best for this season!“