Hockey World Cup 2018: Ireland no threat to other teams in Pool B

But Dutch coach Alexander Cox, who won a World Cup with the Netherlands women’s team, has expressed satisfaction with his Hockey World Cup 2018 squad.

Can the Irish men emulate the women’s side that reached the final of the World Cup in August? The men certainly can take some inspiration from the women.   -  AFP

Ireland isn’t a threat, but will be eager to do its best and play freely against teams irrespective of their stature. But its Dutch coach Alexander Cox is no neophyte, having won a World Cup with the Netherlands women’s team.

Cox, who took over from Craig Fulton, has expressed satisfaction with the squad. “The camps we had in Ireland and overseas were very good and allowed me to see the potential of all the players in our training panel. The 20 players selected give me the most options in defence, midfield and attack,” said Cox, according to the FIH website.

Can the Ireland men’s team emulate the women’s side that reached the final of the World Cup in August?

Everyone, including Cox, knows that’s next to impossible. But the men certainly can take some inspiration from the women.

“Maybe when the tournament starts, people will compare it [the Women's World Cup], but I think we need to be reasonable and you can’t compare the two tournaments with each other,” Cox told the Irish Examiner.

“It also difficult to compare men’s and women’s hockey. In this competition in India, maybe seven or eight teams can become world champion. Therefore, the competition is massive. What we can learn from the women is that you can dream big and that’s what we are also trying to do. We’re going to dream big and see what happens,” the coach said.

Squad: David Harte, David Fitzgerald, Jonathan Bell, Paul Gleghorne, Luke Madeley, Conor Harte, Stuart Loughrey, Matthew Bell, Lee Cole, Shane O’Donoghue, Michael Robson, Kirk Shimmins, Sean Murray, Chris Cargo, Daragh Walsh, Matthew Nelson, Mitch Darling, Eugene Magee, Alan Sothern and Jeremy Duncan.