Belfast Telegraph

Former Banbridge star Kyle Marshall accepts England call-up at Ireland's expense

 

New chapter: Kyle Marshall is in the England U21 Euro squad
New chapter: Kyle Marshall is in the England U21 Euro squad

By John Flack

Kyle Marshall has become the latest Ulster-born hockey player to opt to line out for England and Great Britain instead of Ireland.

The former Banbridge player has been named in the England squad for the European Under-21 Championship which gets under way in Valencia on Sunday.

Ironically, Marshall was a member of the Ireland Under-21 squad which competed in the same event two years ago, having also represented his country of birth at Under-18 level.

Marshall is currently playing his club hockey with Beeston in the English Premier League.

The 20-year-old defender joins fellow Ulstermen Iain Lewers, Ian Sloan, David Ames and Mark Gleghorne, who also switched their allegiance from Ireland to England/GB in recent years.

However, if he fulfils his apparent ambition of playing at senior international level for his adopted country, Marshall will not have to wait for three years to do so, unlike the locally-born quartet, who represented Ireland in the adult ranks before choosing to switch.

The rules state that, in order to play senior international hockey for GB or England, the player concerned must spend a three-year period waiting in the wings before being eligible to play for his or her adopted country.

Marshall has no concerns on that score as he has yet to play senior international hockey for Ireland so could move straight into the senior England set-up immediately, if and when selected.

Meanwhile, Ireland's Under-21 men and women are also in European Championship action over the next week or so.

The women begin their top-flight campaign against Russia in Valencia tomorrow (4.45pm), with the men getting under way in the second tier against Belarus in the Czech Republic on Sunday (2.45pm).

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