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Watt a capture for Instonians next season

 

By Graham Hamilton

One of Irish hockey's most capped and most travelled players - Michael Watt -is returning home next season and will rejoin parent club Instonians.

The prolific striker announced his international retirement back in November having become one of only five players to don the green shirt more than 200 times.

Now he's ready to return to his roots when he completes this season with English National League club Hampstead and Westminster.

Mikie, as he is affectionately known, has played his hockey in a handful of countries and also had a short stint at Lisnagarvey.

He's now ready to put away the suitcase and come home, but the hockey stick won't be going into the loft just yet.

His addition should make a big impact at Instonians as the Shaw's Bridge outfit prepare for life in the Irish Hockey League or, more probably, the new second tier to be established, the Irish Hockey League 2.

Instonians president Tom Reid believes Watt's return to the club will be a massive boost - and not only for the senior team.

"The presence of an Olympian will be a big help to the first XI, but also a great boost for the young players who are learning their hockey with us," said Tom.

"We have over 100 kids attending our weekly sessions and they will learn a lot from someone with so much experience."

Instonians have a crucial game on Friday - the third-placed team in the Ulster Premier League head to the Mournes to take on second-placed Kilkeel.

Meanwhile, Lisnagarvey begin clearing up their EY Irish Hockey League backlog with back-to-back games this weekend.

They handed out a 9-1 drubbing to Dublin YMCA in the rearranged Irish Senior Cup tie on Monday and will face Pembroke on April 7 in the semi-finals.

But first they turn their attention to catching leaders Glenanne with a trip to Cookstown on Saturday and a home game against Pembroke on Sunday.

Cookstown took a point at Garvey earlier in the season and badly need something from their home game as they try to get clear of the relegation zone.

Banbridge also need something from their trip to Three Rock Rovers if they are to stay within range of a play-off place while Annadale go to Pembroke.

Finally, Bangor and Raphoe bid to reach the Irish Hockey Trophy final when they go to Bandon and host Portrane respectively in the semi-finals.

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