The training panels for the remaining Irish underage squads have been announced as squads begin to be assembled ahead of European action at U-16 level in 2010 and an international fixture schedule for the U-18s next summer.
To get the the selection ball rolling at U-18 level, 11 Leinster players were invited to last week’s girl’s first training day while on the boy’s side, 14 Leinster players got the call for training days on November 22 and December 13.
Speaking about the panel, Andy Smyth outlined the reasoning behind his extensive selection: “I consulted with the interprovincial coaches and have brought all their recommendations. I feel that they are the people who know the players better at this stage.
"I had a good look at individuals during the interpro tournament and also at others during the Irish Schools tournament. I will now get a chance to look at these players over at least 2 hard days of technical, physical and match day assessments.
“At the end of this process we will have a large squad who will take part in some or possibly the entire U-18 programme this year. It is about finding the balance between developing those players who are in their final year at U-18 hockey and having an eye on the longer term prospects for the U-18 'A' division next year."
The squad includes seven of the Wesley side that claimed the recent All-Ireland school’s title. Mark Ryan, Fiachra Maher and Mark Ingram are three players included who will be available in two years time for the Europeans.
On the girl’s side, Deirdre Duke, Gillian Pinder and Chloe Watkins are all still eligible from last year’s panel while Emily Beatty, Juliette King-Hall, Lisa McCarthy - who made her first team debut at left-back for Railway last weekend - and Aisling Naughton move up from the Irish U-16s.
At U-16 girl's level, nine Leinster players get the call as part of 35 named panellists while the U-16 boys was released a couple of weeks ago.
Leinster selections for underage squads:
Andrew Shekleton (Dundalk/Fingal), David McCrea (Wesley/TRR), Luke Chadwick (Wesley/YMCA), Mark Ingram (Oatlands/Railway Union), Mark Ryan (Mount Temple/Fingal), Neal Megarity (Wesley/TRR), Richard Sykes (St Andrews/Monkstown), Robert Burke (Wesley/Corinthian), Robert Fitzgerald (Wesley/YMCA), Shane Madeley (Wesley/TRR), Shane O'Donoghue (High School/Glenanne), Stephen Nolan (St Andrews/Monkstown), Tom Samuel (Wesley/TRR), Fiachra Maher (St Andrews/Railway Union)
Kate Lenehan (Alexandra College/Old Alex), Kate Lloyd (Loreto, Dalkey/Railway Union), Anna Mae Whelan (Wesley College/Old Alex), Laura Gray (St Andrews/Hermes), Orla Macken (Rathdown/Railway Union), Emma Russell (Holy Child, Killiney/Hermes), Rachael Owens (Loreto Beaufort/Loreto), Grainne Mulkerrin (Alexandra College), Nicola Walsh (Mount Anville, Railway Union)