Monday, August 10, 2009

Ireland can still improve - Revington

In the aftermath of Ireland's EuroHockey Nations Trophy win in Wrexham, The Hook caught up with Paul Revington, Ronan Gormley and John Jermyn to get their thoughts on the final and the tournament as a whole.

First off, Paul Revington was asked about the decider against Russia: “Performance-wise, the final was ok. I thought we should have finished the tie off a little earlier. There were enough chances to win that game by four or five goals. Everyone’s happy that they have rectified the Champ’s Challenge final but we’ve got a bit of work to do on our finishing.

“We’ve reached a stage where, outside of a trophy being on the line, the players need to be able to enter the game calmly, still excited and still precise mentally and physically and I think they got the balance right today."

Reflecting on the tournament as a whole, Revington believes the side is still in its embryonic stages: “We’re building a side here and to do that you have to guys who trust each other and give their soul a little bit. Giving a little bit of emotion is the first part of that process.

“Quite a lot players are finding their feet as main international players in the team. There are enough of them who haven’t played against sides like Russia and Poland consistently. It takes a few games to understand their style, recognise the way you’ve got to play against them and be calm doing that and they showed they are capable of doing that."

Skipper Ronan Gormley, meanwhile, said that the side did not reach its full potential in the tournament and, like Revington, believes there is more in the tank:

“I don’t think we played to our best all week. We would have liked to have shown more than that in terms of what we can do, because we can do more. But I think, in the ups and downs of a tournament, we’ve managed it well.

"We’ve ended up winning the tournament without really reaching our peak and are coming home with the trophy so we’re delighted that we haven’t played our best but still won.

Asked about the quieter rendition of Ireland's Call that preceded the final in comparison to the powerful version prior to the semi-final against Wales, Gormley says it was very much a ploy to stay in a more relaxed frame of mind.

“I suppose at the end of a tournament you want to conserve as much energy as possible. Every single player in this squad has a burning desire in them to win but we made a decision that we don’t need to have outward displays of aggression as that will show on the pitch.

“As such, the early setback didn’t really phase us. We stuck to the game plan. We tried to be pretty low-key in the build up to the game and I think that showed when we did go 1-0 down. We really dominated the vast majority after that.”

Two-goal hero John Jermyn (pictured, left, with David Hobbs and Harte brother Conor and David) picks up that theme: “Revs had decided that the best bet for us to approach the game would be not outward aggression that would get Russia geed up. We needed to be ready within ourselves and it seemed to work. Everyone was up for it during the game but it wasn’t a matter of bumping shoulders at the start.

He also felt it was nice to get revenge over the Russian side who had soured his 100th cap in the pool stages. “I'm thrilled, especially after the Champion’s Challenge and getting so close. It’s great at this stage to be able to finish it off.

“It was definitely nice to get some revenge over the Russians. Talking to a few people beforehand, they weren’t sure whether we could do it. We all knew and we fully believed that we could and are thrilled to finish off the summer on a high like that and win the Europeans.

As for his personal contribution, he jokes that he was enduring a relative goal drought: "Two games without a goal! I was feeling the pressure. One more would have been nice [to reach 50 goals in an Irish jersey]. I didn’t realise that until after but I’ll take two and the win definitely."

* For more of Tristan Seaton-Stedham's pictures from the post-final celebrations, click here


Anonymous said...

Any idea when the fixture list is to be published?

Anonymous said...

Interested in reading Revington's comments on the chances being created and not being put away.
Watt was a big loss as he was in goalscoring form as seen in the Champions Challenge. One must question the form of the other forwards.

Anonymous said...

form or quality of other forwards? Southern apart are any of them really proven consistent goalscorers even at club level?

Anonymous said...

our country has just had one of/if not its best summer of hockey and we still have people questioning their ability. Obviously they have done something right and can find the back of the net..... small steps towards a brighter future

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong if comments are constructive and looking to improve our quality.

Anonymous said...

people get defensive when comments about our deficiencies in certain areas are made. nobdoy is saying they could do a better job persoannly and few would argue that we're not moving in the right direction. fans are looking up the world rankings and wondering how are we going to beat these teams. it's a healthy wuestion to ask, it's just sometimes the question is asked in a manner that seems destructive. it's up to the players and coaches to find an answer to this question and keep improving as we will now be facing tougher opponents more often.

Anonymous said...

ehl draw out!!

Stephen Findlater said...

I've heard a few rumors of Pembroke's and Glenanne's groups but haven't received an official statement from the EHL yet and nothing on their site.

Can you guide me to your source?

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to put a dampner on things but we seem to be celebrating this win as if we had won the Olympics! Ultimately we are still ranked 9th in Europe and won a tournament we were widely expected to cruise to. We seem to be celebrating it as if we were punching well above our weight and pulled off some kind of upset. Either we were expected to win it or not. If it were Irish rugby/cricket playing in a similar tournamment you would expect them to be glad to be out of a division they shouldn't have been in the first place and making sure they don't play in it again. I think we need to aim a little higher than celebrating struggling through a tournament we were, on paper, meant to win quite easily.

Anonymous said...

To get real quality in any sport you need to have numbers playing the. The number of people playing hockey is declining throughout Ireland. So the numbers of top quality players is bound to be reduced.
Nothing in sport is certain so saying that the team had to easily win the tournament is nonsense.
Teams continually evolve both ours and the opposition. This Irish team is doing both and has made great strides this summer.
We have to congratulate them (the players and the management) on these developments and their success.

Anonymous said...

Where do you get your figures re the number of players declining?The way i see it is if anything the sport is getting more popular.I would agree with the previous comment re the Olympics though.The fact is we stuttered to a win against Belarus, Wales and Russia, insluding getting beaten by Russia.That's simply not good enough. We have no chance of qualifying for a World Cup or Olympics with that kind of form. Bottom line is there's still too much politics involved in selection.Until that changes,nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

quick look at the struggles in div2 and the fact there used to 14x 10 team men's leagues in 1993 might give quite a stark view of the fall-off in numbers.

Wesley and Andrews are porducing great numbers at the mo of good players but the other schools are currently onyl sporadically getting top players and indeed club players through. more grassroots stuff.

do think we have a generation of top players - bringing in new guys into the squad though is very tough at this stage, international stuff is massively different to scoring leinster league goals. it takes a good 20 or 30 caps to understand international hockey so wholescale changes at this point have little value ahead of the WCQ

Anonymous said...

I think we will be able to lift our games against stronger opposition as is the case with most teams in most sports. What politics? What selections? The team seems pretty spot on.

Anonymous said...

Wont mention any names but im confident there are players at 'lesser' clubs ie not Glenanne Pembroke or Three rock who are as good as if not better than some in the current set up and dont get a look in because they are not playing for the 'right' club.That's what i mean by politics.Moving to one of these clubs doubles your chances of getting in the mix- but your still the same player.That's what i mean.As i say,i dont want to mention names as we all know how small hockey circles are,but im pretty sure alot of people will agree with me!

Anonymous said...

hard to bring in anyone in the leinster league that scores upwards of 20 goals a season into the squad when the only player that does that is already in the squad,the results and performance in the champions challenge is a better indicator of where the squad has improved,the europeans not so much as these nations (wales,russia,belarus) are robust and very tough to beat,rarely in world hockey will you walk over these teams by large scorelines. I am extremely confident in the lads and i reckon that a place at the world cup could well be on the cards.Well done on a great summer guys,now lets continue on with the success.

Anonymous said...

Do you not think that because these teams play the best hockey and have been successful their players deserve the chance to play for their country? Not demeaning anyone else but how can anyone claim to be as good as someone who plays regularly and successfully at a higher standard than them?

Anonymous said...

Why do you think Pembroke and Glenanne in particular finish in the top two or three in Irish competitions every year for the past ten years. I would it has alot to do with the players they have currently in the irish squad. Why do you think these players that play on different teams outside the top two, dont get a look in. Its simple, when they have a big a impact in their club teams and their club teams start to win major trophys, then you have argument. Its no fluke Glenanne get to most finals. Its because of the influence these players have on their team.

Anonymous said...

The figures came from the Irish and UK governement statistics. I am sorry I cannot get the exact figures as I have deleted the information.
Though i do know the number of schools playing the sport has been reduced especially in Munster,I know that schools in Ulster are also suffering due to funding.
Leinster may be expanding but I am sure it is not enough to off ster the reductions in the other areas.