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Hockey: Consolation for U-18s

By John Flack

Ulster may have missed out on the Under 18 interpro title last weekend in Cork but 16 local players have earned a generous consolation prize.

Following the tournament, national Under 18 coach Arul Anthoni announced his squad for Ireland trials and it includes the vast majority of the class of 2007.

There will be two trial sessions, with the first due to be held in Dublin on Sunday December 9 for Munster and Leinster players.

A second trial session will be held at Banbridge's Havelock Park headquarters the following Sunday.

It is also intended to hold a two day selection camp on December 27-28 in Dublin.

The squad will be managed by Ulsterman Peter Jackson who announced that, although in theory it's a quiet year, there will be several games.

"This is a non-European year for Under 18s and, as such, player development will be a key priority," he said."

The Under 18s will also play a series of friendly matches against England from February 13-15, Belgium, also in Dublin, from March 25-27 and against Scotland at home, with dates and venue to be confirmed.

The Ulster players selected are as follows: Jonathan Ames, Philip Brown, James Corry, Mark Crooks, Scott Forbes, Christopher Harvey, Stephen Hunter, Peter MacDonnell, Richard Magowan, Ryan McCrea, Alan Patterson, Peter Purcell, William Robinson, Stephen Sloan, Stuart Smith, Alastair Thom.

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