The Irish women’s hockey team will make their long awaited return to the World Cup stage this July in London, and today head coach Graham Shaw has named his panel of 18 players that will don the green jersey against the world’s best teams.
Included in the 18 players is former Crescent College Comprehensive star Upton who made her Irish debut in 2016 and currently plays her club hockey with Cork Harlequins.
Speaking at the announcement, head coach Shaw said
“There were some difficult calls when selecting this World Cup squad, and that is a testament to the quality and depth we have in the larger panel. 2002 was the last time an Irish hockey team was present at a World Cup so we are very proud to be representing Ireland at the showcase event of our sport.
“But we are entirely focused on the task at hand and our first goal is to get out of the Pool; it will be tough given the calibre of the 3 teams in Pool B with us but that is what a World Cup is about, and we have a belief in our ability and know what we are capable of”.
— Roisin Upton (@roisinupton) June 26, 2018
Ireland are drawn Pool B alongside hosts England, currently occupying the number 2 spot in the world, USA who sit at 7th and India ranked 10th. Indeed Ireland go into the tournament ranked 16th in the world and are seeded 15 out of the 16 teams. But they are a side more than capable of playing above their ranking and routinely do so, most recently beating Olympic bronze medallists Germany 2-1 in Dusseldorf.
The winners of each pool progress straight through to the quarterfinal and the bottom placed team goes home. The second placed team in Pool B will play off against the third placed team in Pool A, and the third placed team in Pool B will play against the second placed team in Pool A.