The IIHA are pleased to announce the players selected to the Senior Irish National Team:
Coaching & Management Staff
Tony Griffin (General Manager)
Jim Tibbetts (Head Coach)
Kenny Redmond (Assistant Coach)
Rob Schistad (Assitant Coach/Sports Therapist)
John Crawley (Equipment Manager)
Tony Griffin, General Manager of the Senior Irish National Team, stated that he felt “we have a very good balance in the team with some new guys coming in to compliment the old guard.” He made this statement after he along with Head Coach, Jim Tibbetts, and Assistant Coach, Kenny Redmond, had finally picked the squad.
He continued “The older guys that have been their before know how to win; most of them played in Dundalk back in 2007 when we won the silver medal. I also think that Kenny Redmond has done an excellent job along with Rob Schistad over the last few months in preparing the team. Kenny has drilled the guys very well and the atmosphere within the squad is better than ever before with everyone totally focused on the tournament.
“Our last warm-up game before we travel to Luxembourg is on Thursday 9th April against the Dundalk Bulls at the Dundalk Ice Dome. We then have one last practice session on Sunday 9th April at the Dundalk Ice Dome before we fly out on Tuesday 13th April.
“The first game will be a tough test as we face the hosting nation, Luxembourg, in the evening game. We will have to be ready from the first buzzer and to be honest I think it will be best to play Luxembourg first. Before our game, in the afternoon faceoff we will get an opportunity to see Greece play United Arab Emirates (UAE). Jim and some of the players played Greece last year so they will know what to expect but UAE are a bit of an unknown so it will be something of a scouting mission.
“The next game is on Thursday 15th April against Greece and as I said, Jim knows a lot about Greece. We lost 7 – 3 to them last year in New Zealand so we hope we can return that favour in our quest for a gold medal this year. Friday 16th April, will be a rest day and we will be sure that the players take it easy and recharge their batteries before their final game against UAE. We will be hoping that we are in contention for the gold medal by that stage.
“I firmly believe that this year’s team can push for a gold medal at this championship. It will be our best shot at a gold medal since 2007 and now in 2010 man for man we are a stronger hockey team then the one that took that silver medal. At the end of the day, we have never won a gold medal and we haven’t won a competitive match in international hockey in two years. Next week in Luxembourg, it is our intention to rectify both of those statistics.”
Tony will be keeping everyone back at home up to date with the progress of the team every day here on IIHA.org including a daily blog from one of the players plus game previews and recaps.
There is also the possibility that the games will be streamed live at the following website: http://www.sport50.lu/worldcup/index
From everyone at the IIHA, and everyone in Ireland: we wish the boys in green good luck. We are sure they’ll do us proud.