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Getty has what it takes to reach the very top, says Boyles


By John Flack

Assistant Ireland coach Arlene Boyles has heaped praise on Queen's University defender Erin Getty, who she believes can go on to become a permanent fixture in the national team in the years to come.

The 19-year-old had a hugely impressive game in the students' 2-1 Denman Ulster Shield final win over Lurgan at Stormont on Boxing Day.

Had there been a player of the match award, it would undoubtedly have gone to the former Randalstown star, who made her senior Ireland debut against Germany last spring in Dusseldorf, although she has yet to play in a major tournament.

However, that could well change soon as Ireland prepare for this summer's World Cup in London and the 2020 Olympic qualifying cycle.

Boyles, who was a similarly gifted player in her time with Pegasus and Ireland, said: "Erin is a cracking player, and she has a big future if she wants it."

Getty has no doubt about her desire to make the big time, such is her dedication.

The Ulster-based players in the extended squad have strength and conditioning sessions in a Dundonald gym twice a week, which involve 6am starts as well as regular trips to Dublin for training and a busy playing schedule.

In Getty's case, there is also the small matter of combining her academic commitments with her hockey at club and international level.

She said: "I don't really know any different, and it's become habit really. Eat, sleep, hockey, revise, repeat - but I wouldn't have it any other way.

"Hopefully I'll have many years to come and whether I'm in the World Cup squad or not, I have no doubt that the team that goes will be the best prepared 18 there is and do Ireland proud."

In the short term, Getty and her Queen's team-mates are concentrating on a swift rematch with Lurgan in the Ulster Premier League on Saturday.

Robbie McMinn's side showed in the Shield final that they are well capable of avenging that loss and they won't be giving up their league title without a fight.

Leaders Ballymoney are confident of staying top as they travel to Banbridge, while Rainey will be anxious to build on their recent win over North Down when they face Randalstown.

There is one game on Friday night as Mossley take on struggling Comber side North Down.

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