Six players from the succesful Cookstown High team will form the nucleus of the Ulster Under 18 squad in the UK School Games which start in Bristol tomorrow.
The Tyrone school cleaned up last season and this is reflected in coach Paul Cooke’s 16-strong squad, with Jonathan Ames, Alistair Thom, the Sloan brothers Ian and Stephen, Mark Crooks and Stuart Smyth all included.
The Beijing Olympics may be just over, but for the Ulster teenagers it is a chance to showcase themselves as attention turns to London 2012.
“The squad includes many players who have won U16 and U18 inter-provincial titles but this tournament will be very different - we are going as a provincial team to play against the English, Scottish and Welsh international squads, ” said Cooke.
The Games are designed to replicate the feel and structure of the Olympic Games with spectacular opening and closing ceremonies planned.
ULSTER U18S: Jonathan Ames (Cookstown High), Richard Arneill (Wallace High), Daniel Buser (Wallace High), Collin Cleland (Friends), Mark Crooks (Cookstown High), Stephen Hunter (Wallace High), Ciaran Kelly (Banbridge Acad.), Niall Kelly (Banbridge Acad,), Peter MacDonnell (Wallace High), Ward Phillips (Friends), Peter Purcell (Sullivan Upper), Stephen Sloan (Cookstown High), Ian Sloan (Cookstown High), Stuart Smyth (Cookstown High), Alistair Thom (Cookstown High), Thomas Welshman (RBAI).