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Caruth relishing Corinthian move, but Dale are left with a hole to fill

 

New challenge: Peter Caruth
New challenge: Peter Caruth

By John Flack

Peter Caruth has left Annadale to take up the role of player-coach at their EY Irish Hockey League rivals Corinthian for the new season, representing a major blow for the Belfast club.

Caruth played for Ireland at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and has been recalled to the national squad which is currently preparing for next month's European Championship in Antwerp.

The 32-year-old striker, who has 142 caps, would have been close to the double-century mark had it not been for injuries.

But he is now back to full fitness following knee surgery which ruled him out of the playing arena for the second half of the last IHL season.

It's no coincidence that Annadale struggled somewhat after losing their talismanic striker as he concentrated solely on coaching after Christmas.

Caruth says he is looking forward to combining playing and coaching with his new club, who secured promotion to Irish hockey's top-flight last season.

It will be his second spell in Dublin, having played for Monkstown for three years before rejoining Annadale, where he learned his hockey as a youngster.

Caruth said: "While it's a wrench to be leaving Annadale, I am looking forward to the new season with Corinthian and I reckon they can do quite well in what will be their first IHL campaign.

"I enjoyed my time at Dale and was glad to be able to do my bit in helping them get into the IHL in my first season as player-coach and, equally important, see them stay there.

"I wish them well but there will be no room for sentiment when I play against them and I don't think they would want there to be."

Caruth hopes to add to his international caps tally sooner rather than later, as preparations continue for the Euros and the last phase of Olympic qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

He could come back into a match-day 18 as early as the weekend as Ireland continue their build up with two games against Scotland in Glasgow.

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