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Chloe hoping US trip boosts her World Cup dream

 

By John Flack

Ards striker Chloe Brown hopes history won't repeat itself when she returns from Ireland's nine-day training camp in Pennsylvania which includes three internationals against the United States.

Brown and the rest of the Ireland squad, including four other Ulster players, head off to America later this week.

Two years ago, the 22-year-old played in a similar series against USA but missed the cut for the subsequent World League 3 series in Valencia which doubled as a qualifier for the Rio Olympics.

This time around, a place in the 2018 World Cup will be at stake when Ireland travel to Johannesburg in July.

Brown missed out on the World League 2 trip to Malaysia in January due to a fractured ankle and she will be hoping that she's back to full fitness in time to at least be available for selection for the visit to South Africa.

She said: "I'm really looking forward to this trip and especially to the intensity of the matches and training in preparation for World League 3.

"I haven't played a match in the green jersey since October due to my broken ankle and it will be good to get back out there and play a high level of hockey.

"I am not 100% back to full fitness, it's a slow process but with help of the physios and strength and conditioning coaches, I'm getting there.

"Having played at the same venue last time, we know that Spooky Nook, as it's called, is a class facility with outdoor and indoor pitches."

Meanwhile, Queen's University face holders Randalstown in the President's Cup final at Deramore on Saturday (2.30pm) in a repeat of last year's decider.

The game has been rearranged from its original midweek slot as both teams had selection problems due to examination commitments.

Randalstown haven't played competitively since their semi-final win over Dungannon five weeks ago while Queen's defeated Lurgan 4-2 10 days ago.

Students coach Simon Bell said: "If we play as well as we did in the second half of the semi-final when we scored four times, we'll have a chance."

Finally, Adam Louden has been appointed as new Lisnagarvey Ladies coach following the departure of David Agnew shortly before the end of the season.

Louden arrives at Hillsborough with a proven track record, having steered Queen's II to successive Junior League and McConnell Shield double successes.

He spent last season at Castle, an amalgamation of Greenisland and Carrick.

Louden's obvious priority will be to help Garvey secure a swift return into the Premier League following their penalty shoot-out defeat by Rainey in a promotion/relegation play-off last week.

Belfast Telegraph

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