Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Best Foreign XI (part two)



The Leinster senior league has seen many foreign players come and go in the past ten years. Some have been good, some not so. Some came and went, others have been instrumental in Leinster hockey. Here’s my opinion on the best attackers to have graced on local soil…

Right Midfield – James Benson (Australia) – Corinthian – Unlike Trapper’s departure, JB has proved harder to replace. Brilliant at bringing players into the game and impossible to take the ball off, Benson was a fantastic in the engine room during Corinthian’s best recent performances, especially in qualifying for the All-Ireland championships.

Left Midfield – Michael Trounce (Australia) – Monkstown – Completing an all-Australian midfield, Trounce edges out Bray’s Phil Marshall for the left-mid berth. His hard running combined with fast stick work was perfectly matched to the side’s attacking intentions and was regularly electrifying. Whilst his impact on the side’s fortunes wasn’t massive, he had a sharp eye for goal and the ability to zip past many a flat-stick tackle.

Right Wing – Nasir Munir (Pakistan) – Glenanne – Whilst his coaching and injury-proneness have got in the way of a huge amount of pitch-time for Nas, there is true magic in his hands. On his game, Nas can be unplayable, both for opponents and probably his team-mates and his typically Pakistani performance in last season’s ISC final against Annadale, coming off the bench was nothing short of inspirational, scoring without doubt the goal of the day. Oh, and he’s bagged a heap of titles as coach of Glenanne!

Centre Forward – Colin Stewart (Australia) – Corinthian - In the modern era, Bacchus has probably scored more field goals than anyone. His sharpness around the circle is unequalled, with his trademark shortened grip and lightning back swing, Stewart was the aggressive end of Corinthian’s full press, sniffing for the slightest defensive lapse. His influence on Leinster hockey is still being felt, transforming Sutton Park into one of the top three schools in Dublin.

Left Wing – John McInroy (South Africa) – Pembroke Wanderers – Much like Stewart, McInroy’s opening three months with Pembroke have been characterized by his ‘shoot-from-anywhere’ attitude. Toward the back end of 2006/7, Pembroke were irresistible and scoring goals for fun - McInroy cashed in on numerous occasions. Whether he can break back into the South African squad from Ireland in Olympic year is another matter.

Coach: Bert Vreeken (Holland) - Three Rock Rovers – Winning the title is some achievement; doing it with a Rovers side that were threatened with their first ever relegation the season before was nothing short of a miracle. Other foreign coaches have won titles but few have completed such a monumental turnaround.

Subs: Ian Symons (South Africa) – Pembroke Wanderers – Another Olympian, Symons’ has fired in some drag-flicks but has not been the goal machine expected.

Phil Marshall (Australia) – Bray – Bray’s outstanding player in 2006/7, Russell was a massive part of the club’s success.

Ulli Moessel (Germany) – Three Rock Rovers – An outstanding German international who featured just a few times for Rovers.

Dan Williams (Australia) – Corinthian – Williams has been a steady heartbeat for a number of years, kept out of this team by his illustrious compatriots.

Graham Berry (South Africa) – Railway Union – Began with a flurry of goals before petering away, along with Railway’s good, South-African influenced early form.

Dave Staniforth (South Africa) - Railway Union – Another of Railway’s South African troupe, Staniforth was a lot more than competent between the sticks.

Disagree? Who do you think are the best foreign imports? Avoca’s Kiwi contingent? Naas’ Jurgen van der Poort? Trinity’s JPP van der Elfinhausen? Have your say…

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

where is Paddy Conlon? probably the most successful foreign player in Leinster history. captained Pembroke to back to back Club Championships in the past 2 seasons and success in Europe. Surely he should be captaining the side let alone playing on it?

Anonymous said...

that doesnt make him just cos hes captained a side, he hasnt got the ball distribution or skill to be in it, fitness is his main asset...end of!!!!

Anonymous said...

how in the name of good is paddy conlon and dan williams not in the starting team, boht have been incredibly influential in their clubs success. John th South african is in their after 3 months, how ridiculous is that? answer these question steven!

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Anonymous said...

Think you might find Phil Russell is actually Phil Marshall.

Anonymous said...

Good and interesting blog-JAMES Benson :and Trapper is from Western Australia.Paddy is a great player but in this team would have to go against 'Trapper'(best club player I've seen here-love to have Paddy of the bench though, great influence in game.

Anonymous said...

Bert good coach, but needs some assistance , i'd have Ned & Bacchus as Assistant Coaches. Both have had a major impact on Leinster hockey. (Not sure about Naz, doesnt play enough and too inconsistant compared to the rest of the team. ) JB v's Dan Williams i am sure they wil have a laugh over that !

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Eric Gierts there. I played with him in YM for a couple of seasons, and he was certainly an unsung hero. He used to practice dragflicks by hitting a jumper stuffed up in the top corners of the goal. You should also do a 'where are they now' piece, because he seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Quite the colourful character!

Anonymous said...

interesting to see how many field goals this lot would put away in a season v's the game now dominated by Drag flicks.! With John McInroy on the wing & Bacchus with his average was about 28 a season , add in Trapper and JB they would kick ass..

Admin said...
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Admin said...

Thanks for the corrections and apologies for getting them wrong in the first place. They have since been corrected. Keep the comments rolling in... What is your all-time foreign XI?

Anonymous said...

Paudie Carley - best foreign player - that move from tallaght to ballsbridge -

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Anonymous said...

How is Ned not in this??

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