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Skipper Megan fired up for new challenge in Germany

By John Flack

Ireland hockey captain Megan Frazer has landed a dream move to Germany next season after signing a full-time professional contract with leading Bundesliga team Mannheimer.

The Ulster Elks midfielder will be leaving to head for the Baden-Württemberg region later this month after the club fought off stiff competition from several other continental outfits to secure her services.

Frazer, who will be released for Ireland duty when needed, is widely regarded as the best player in the country and should have no trouble holding down a place in Mannheimer's first-team after earlier being linked with top Dutch side Kampong.

The 25-year-old, who has 106 caps to date, is no stranger to plying her trade outside Ireland having spent three years at the University of Maryland on a hockey scholarship, after travelling to the United States as a teenager.

Having originally played her club hockey for Ballymoney, she spent a season with Holcombe on her return from America and helped the Kent side earn promotion to the English Premier League before joining the Elks two seasons ago.

She was instrumental in helping the Jordanstown side win back-to-back Irish Senior Cups and a European title in Prague in May when she was handed the player-of-the-tournament accolade.

Frazer is looking forward to the challenge of playing her hockey with Mannheimer, who play in a 2,500 capacity stadium and have two women on the German squad that is currently at the Rio Olympics, after former Ireland coach Darren Smith set the wheels in motion.

The Londonderry woman said: "I like the coach, Philipp Stahr, who has a connection with Darren, and I like the club and the quality of the assistant coaches and the fact they have other internationals playing there.

"Being free to spend as much time on hockey as possible will allow me to improve all aspects and I am looking forward to learning a different style of game. It will be a new experience playing in a country that doesn't speak English as a first language."

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