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Ulster clubs queue up as Lizzie Colvin decides to return home



In demand: Lizzie Colvin has sides battling for her services

In demand: Lizzie Colvin has sides battling for her services

In demand: Lizzie Colvin has sides battling for her services

The chances of Ulster clubs doing better in next season's EY Irish Hockey League have been boosted with confirmation that current international Lizzie Colvin is to return to the province for the new campaign.

Colvin has spent the last few years playing for Loreto in Dublin and helped them finish in fourth place in their debut season in the national league.

At the weekend, Loreto held eventual winners UCD to a scoreless draw in the Champions Trophy semi-final only to lose in the penalty shoot-out.

That proved to be Colvin's last appearance in Loreto's colours as she has now completed her training as a solicitor and will shortly be starting her new job in Belfast.

That's good news for the clubs that will be chasing her signature with all three IHL outfits naturally being interested in acquiring such a talented player.

The 27-year-old midfielder, who began her career with Armagh, has made 118 appearances for Ireland and has taken part in two Olympic qualifying tournaments.

Her caps tally would undoubtedly be considerably higher had a cruciate knee injury not sidelined her for 17 months in 2013 and 2014.

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She was a member of the squad that won World League 2 in Malaysia in January and will be an integral part of the team that is currently preparing for the next stage of the 2018 World Cup qualifying process, scheduled for Johannesburg in July.

Pegasus, Ards and Belfast Harlequins would all love to have Colvin on board after Ulster's three representatives finished in the bottom half of the IHL table.

Pegasus captain Alex Speers revealed she has already had a conversation with Colvin, though nothing has been decided yet.

With Ireland's most capped international, Shirley McCay, expected to be on the move after Ulster Elks were relegated, clubs will be in hot pursuit of the pair.

Speers said: "I was chatting to Lizzie a couple of weeks ago. I would like to think there's a chance of both her and Shirley joining as they would be two great signings but that's totally their decision and I'm sure the other Ulster IHL clubs are after both of them as well."

Meanwhile, Lurgan hope to bounce back from the disappointment of losing to Belfast Harlequins in Saturday's IHL promotion/relegation play-off.

They host Queen's in the President's Cup semi-finals as they bid for a clean sweep of domestic trophies, having already lifted the Premier League and Shield earlier in the campaign.

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