Irish girls will begin World Cup challenge in Malaysia
The Irish Hockey Association are facing another drain on their resources with confirmation that the national women's team must travel to Malaysia for the World League II tournament in the New Year.
The competition represents the first phase of the qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup which is being staged in England.
The trip to Kuala Lumpur will be an expensive exercise, especially at a time when the sport's governing body are already trying to make up a shortfall of around £150,00 to fund preparations for the Ireland men's squad to take part in the Rio Olympics in August.
Ireland assistant women's coach Arlene Boyles said: "We don't have any control over where we are asked to go.
"But setting aside the cost implications, it's going to be a completely different environment to playing in Europe.
"So we will need to be in good shape both physically and mentally for January and a lot of hard work will go in during the coming months by players and staff alike."
Boyles is currently in New Zealand with the Ireland squad, who are competing in the Hawke's Bay Cup and today face Korea in the first of two play-off matches for fifth to eighth places in the event.