Tuesday, August 18, 2009

McConnell confirms Pembroke move

Andy McConnell (pictured in Ireland action) confirmed what will no doubt be the most eye-catching transfer of the summer - and, perhaps, of any Leinster hockey summer - this evening as he makes the switch from Three Rock Rovers to Pembroke.


After plenty of speculation in the past couple of months, Pembroke returned to full training this evening with McConnell adding to the sizable international contingent at Serpentine Avenue.

Ahead of a hectic season with EHL, IHL and Leinster concerns, it brings the quadruple holders crop of current Irish internationals up to seven.

With former Irish stars Justin Sherriff and Gordon Elliott - the last senior player to make the move across town from Grange Road - still in the mix, it makes for an awesome proposition as rival clubs bid to catch the current standard bearers in Irish club hockey.

To that end, Glenanne have signed Czech Republic international Filip Jaros from Monkstown and Fingal goal-getter Mick McGuinness.

For Three Rock, it makes the task of emulating their final four appearance in the IHL even tougher having already seen Mitch Darling and Phelie Maguire take up contracts with Belgian side KHC Leuven.

McConnell is likely to make his first appearance in Pembroke colours on a preseason tour to England in a couple of weekend's time.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or do rovers seem to be entering a difficult period they're down to 4 mens teams and a lot of their top players seem to be disappearing. They still have an excellent youth section however.

Anonymous said...

very brave move. most likely will be an impact sub. as midfield will be ned jilo and paddy. obviously its not as black and white but these three players are better. as for rovers it will weeken them slightly but im sure they will have more motivation now to move on.

Anonymous said...

Just shows what loyalty there is in Irish hockey, from what I hear he is not the last International Pembroke have lined up. Rovers must feel like they have been kicked in the guts, with the majority of last years EHL team players practically moving on. How is the club to kick on now?

Anonymous said...

seems an odd enough move with the World Cup Qualifiers coming up. He would have been Rovers' stand-out player with the other two lads leaving and have a chance to take on a leadership role.

Now he'll certainly have less pitch-time as part of a rotating midfield and will be more of a squad player among Pembroke's other stars.

However, in light of Pembroke's and Rovers injury problems in the wake of the EHL campaigns in the past two seasons, a bigger squad is needed to be able to prosper on both fronts so they needed to get some players in.

Anonymous said...

An average player (in international terms) who has made a below average decision.

Anonymous said...

disagree there, stand out player. think the likes of charlie,lyons blakers are all players who stand out more than andy and possibly more. but granted he would have standed out more with the losses of mich and phelie.

Anonymous said...

At last a bit of transfer news!Thought it would never happen!!Solid club player but not sure if McConnell is good enough to make the grade at international level.

Anonymous said...

Funny how a really good player becomes an ordinary player when they move clubs if we are to believe the comments above --wonder why that is !! Very hard to understand --can anyone help with that one !!!

Anonymous said...

I hope the transfer news will be coming in thick and fast for the next few weeks leading into the season. When will the team by team analysis and predictions get going?? Can't see how McConnell won't be a starter for Pembroke. About as good a signing as you can get without going foreign!

Stephen Findlater said...

There will be a full preseason preview in the week before the Neville Cup fixtures tip off.

As for further transfer news, if you contact me directly at stevie_findlats@yahoo.com with confirmed moves, I'll stick them up.

Anonymous said...

interesting moves for glenanne.
Not sure where mick fits in but defo a good squad player for them, which is needed for ehl.
Jaros is a very good replacement for Browner. With him as the holding midfielder it gives butler and shaw freedom.
McConnell would have stood out a lot better now at rovers than before and had chance to really take over. Not sure about the move but you don't see many players in pembrokes ranks fail.
Time will tell i guess...

Anonymous said...

is there any club loyalty left in leinster hockey at all?

Anonymous said...

micks should get a game up front for glens

Queso said...

I think anytime you lose 3 international players in one go, will be a tough blow, but a new coach can also reinvigorate a squad and is a fresh start for all players to stake a claim...

...Rovers have strength in depth, plus there's already been one transfer to Rovers!!!

Anonymous said...

Lots of clubs are busy recruiting I would say, maybe more foreign players in the league then ever this year.

Bango said...

could be very interesting move if Ireland make the world cup...

the extra training get-togethers, friendlies and so on would likely make Revs request clubs reduce player involvement in leinster league yet further (sidenote: third IHL weekend would obviously have to be rearranged).

as such, if selected for the national team, he'll play sweet fa matches for Pembroke while most training would be on national level

if not selected, he'll be one of their main players given the likely to lead the team and would be a key component.

long way off but interesting stuff

Anonymous said...

who is the player TRR signed, is it that dutch guy mentioned on the blog at the end of last year or somebody else

Anonymous said...

I dont think McConnell will end up making the Irish Squad..he will be left to help Pembroke while the Irish guys are away

Anonymous said...

MCGuiness may offer Alan Lewis competion for an EHL spot...he has the drag flick

C'Mon the Lewy!!

Anonymous said...

Some players these days are only interested in the glory and not the path that gets them there. Loyalty is a thing of the past. They follow the trophies in a bid to get a piece of the pie. Its happened to most clubs at this stage and will continue to happen in the future. Thats the way some people tick these days.
If you look hard enough there is always a solution to a problem.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck Andy, takes a lot of guts to leave the comfort zone of your boyhood club with a starting spot and join a team where you are not guarenteed your place.

Training with more Irish internationals everyday and being coached by the ass. coach should improve his chances of making the squad.

Anonymous said...

all this talk about standing out?? mcconnell doesnt want to be a big fish in a small pond. he wants to play at the highhest level he can and that means making the difficult decision to leave his boy hood club. playing with better players and in a better team is more beneficial to him than being the standout player in an average team. and that doesnt mean he wont ''stand out'' for pembroke. great player! best of luck to him!!

Anonymous said...

It seems like there's no loyalty left these days.A rather sickening loss for rovers.With Sven though and the new coach you never now. Why Andy?

Anonymous said...

to me its very clear which of these comments were left by pembroke members and those that were left by rovers players, of course a pembroke player will defend andy's decision while the rovers lads moan, as i am not a member of either club i believe it is a gud signing for pembroke and a big loss for three rock but i believe he may struggle to get regular team action in pembroke with what is already a strong midfield

Anonymous said...

5.55pm - that last senence is fairly dodgy...

I take it you mean due to potentially better training sessions!!

charlie said...

I heard it was all a big mistake and that pembroke actually signed Andy McDonnell.

Sorry for the mix up.

The Hooded Claw said...

Are you sure it wasnt Ronald McDonald?