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Why switching allegiance back from England to Ireland is right call, explains Kyle Marshall



Kyle Marshall

Kyle Marshall

Kyle Marshall

Ireland head coach Mark Tumilty has received a boost with confirmation that former Banbridge player Kyle Marshall has switched his allegiance from England back to his country of birth.

The 22-year-old declared for England a couple of years ago and played for his adopted nation in the 2019 European Junior Championship in Valencia.

Earlier, Marshall had lined out for Ireland at Under-16, 18 and 21 level without ever being capped at senior level for either country.

Now though, the Nottingham Trent University student is fully committed to Ireland's cause having had productive talks with Tumilty, who was his former club coach at Banbridge.

Marshall revealed: "I know 'Tum' well having worked with him back home and he is great to work with and has a very relaxed manner.

"I had no regrets about switching to England at the time and I think my game improved, while living in Nottingham and playing with Beeston in the Premier League made the switch easier.

"But after talking to 'Tum', it was a no-brainer to change back to Ireland and I have enjoyed the training sessions so far both in smaller groups with the other Ulster players and on a national scale."

Tumilty is naturally delighted with his new recruit, who has broken the mould following the defection of several other Ulster players who have switched to England and Great Britain in recent years and not returned.

Cookstown duo Ian Sloan and David Ames are expected to be included in the GB squad for next year's Olympics in Tokyo while Iain Lewers and Mark Gleghorne also had illustrious careers across the water after making the move.

Those four players all had to spend three years in the international wilderness before lining out for England/GB having previously played for Ireland, but Marshall can come straight into the team as he has yet to play senior international hockey.

Tumilty said: "I have known Kyle since he was 15 and have kept in contact with him throughout his time in England.

"I always felt he had the ability to be a senior international hockey player and I am delighted that he has taken the opportunity to play for Ireland.

"He is certainly a great addition to squad."

Belfast Telegraph