Sunday, April 18, 2010

Irish women one of three left stranded

As expected the Irish women's journey to Santaigo, Chile was delayed this morning as a result of the volcanic ash created the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland.

Ireland are one of three teams bound for the World Cup Qualifier in South America to be affected with Scotland also delayed while Malaysia are also delayed as they are currently concluding a European tour as part of their preparations.

It creates a slight planning headache for Gene Muller and his management team as their initial build-up plans will be drastically changed. They will train again at UCD today following yesterday's media day in which the Setanta Sports cameras and Sportsfile photographers were on hand to observe the side in their new Samurai-sponsored clothing.

The hope is for the side to travel out on the next available flight though current forecasts suggest this will be unlikely to occur on Monday.

ESB chief executive Padraig McManus (pictured with Michelle Harvey and Lisa Jacob), and title sponsor of women's hockey in the country, was also present at yesterday's training session and pas upbeat about Ireland's chances despite the tough draw.

Speaking at UCD, he said "This is a tremendously challenging time for Irish Women's Hockey and our national team certainly has to face tough competition in Chile. But I have every confidence that their combined skill, determination and extraordinary team spirit will bring them through to represent Ireland in the World Cup later this year in Argentina. I wish the captain, Eimear Cregan and the team every success in the World Cup Qualifiers in Chile".

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