Three changes in Ireland women's squad for FIH Series in Banbridge

Railway Union's Sarah Hawkshaw has been brought into the squad for the Banbridge tournament
Railway Union's Sarah Hawkshaw has been brought into the squad for the Banbridge tournament

Emma Buckley, Bethany Barr and Sarah Hawkshaw have come into the Ireland women's squad for the the FIH Hockey Series in Banbridge next month.

Barr is from Lurgan and will make her tournament debut for Ireland in the 8-16 June tournament.

Grace O'Flanagan and Yvonne O'Byrne drop out along with Nikki Evans, who is named as a reserve with Chloe Brown.

"We're excited for this tournament and hope to play in front of a large Irish crowd," said captain Katie Mullan.

Ireland's last tournament game was the World Cup final in London last August and they have had two training camps in 2019 in Chile and Spain.

The Green Army will take on Czech Republic, Malaysia and Singapore in Pool A with Korea, Scotland, Ukraine and France in Pool B.

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Irish captain Mullan confident for Banbridge tournament

It is the first stage in the Olympic qualification process for the Irish women, with the top two teams from each FIH Series Finals securing a place in qualification events for Tokyo 2020, which will be held later this year.

"As we take our first step towards Olympic qualification the 18 players selected for this FIH Series Final represent the 43 Green Army squad members who started this journey," added Mullan.

"The World Cup was a starting point for us, and we're keen to continue on this journey and stay in the top 10 in the world.

"This June tournament is an opportunity to show where we are. It's a busy summer ahead and we're eager to take it on."

Ireland squad: Bethany Barr, Emma Buckley (GK), Lizzie Colvin, Nicci Daly, Deirdre Duke, Megan Frazer, Sarah Hawkshaw, Shirley McCay, Ayeisha McFerran (GK), Ali Meeke, Katie Mullan, Anna O'Flanagan, Gillian Pinder, Elena Tice, Roisin Upton, Chloe Watkins, Zoe Wilson.

Reserves: Chloe Brown, Nicola Evans

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