World League 2: Craig Fulton finalises Ireland squad for Stormont tournament

Lisnagarvey's Neal Glassey
Neal Glassey is among four Lisnagarvey players named in the Ireland squad

Five Ulstermen are among eight players who will make tournament debuts for Ireland in the World League 2 which starts in Belfast this weekend.

Coach Craig Fulton includes Lisnagarvey trio Neal Glassey, Sean Murray and Matthew Nelson plus Banbridge duo Jamie Wright and John McKee.

Other Banbridge players Eugene Magee and Matt Bell are also included.

Chris Cargo and Lisnagarvey's Paul Gleghorne are among nine of Fulton's Rio Olympics squad who are picked.

Absentees include injured Peter Caruth but John Jermyn has been named in the squad after being a fitness doubt.

The other newcomers to the squad are Monkstown's Lee Cole, Jamie Carr of Three Rock Rovers and UCD's Jeremy Duncan.

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At the other end of the spectrum, Magee and Ronan Gormley, with nearly 500 caps between them, will provide experience for a tournament which will see Ireland facing Austria, Italy and Ukraine in their opening group.

Joining Caruth in dropping out of the initial extended 24-man squad are Callum Robson, Julian Dale, Luke Madeley, Drew Carlisle and Mark Ingram.

The Austrians look the main Group A threat with several of their players having performed admirably at the Junior World Cup in December.

Pool B see's France, Poland, Scotland and Wales with the French looking the side to beat.

Coach Fulton described his Irish squad as a "mix of exciting youth and senior experience".

"It's been a while since Ireland hosted a men's FIH tournament so we're looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd," added Fulton.

"The Stormont venue is looking good and the pitch is playing fast, and we're eager to start our campaign against Ukraine this weekend."

Ireland need a top-three finish in the eight-team tournament to book a spot in World League 3.

Ireland squad: David Harte (GK), Jamie Carr (GK), Jonathan Bell, John McKee, Ronan Gormley, Chris Cargo, Matthew Nelson, John Jermyn, Eugene Magee, Neal Glassey, Shane O'Donoghue, Sean Murray, Matthew Bell, Jamie Wright, Paul Gleghorne, Conor Harte, Jeremy Duncan, Lee Cole.

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