Belfast Telegraph

McKibbin steps up as Cox shuffles the deck

 

Shake up: Alexander Cox
Shake up: Alexander Cox

By John Flack

Lisnagarvey defender Peter McKibbin is set to make his senior international debut when Ireland face Scotland in two internationals over the weekend in Glasgow.

But the biggest talking point surrounds the inclusion of Australian native Tim Cross in head coach Alexander Cox's squad.

Cross played eight times for the Kookaburras but holds an Irish passport and last played for his native country in 2015.

The fact he hasn't played international hockey in an officially recognised game by International Hockey Federation for more than the required three years renders him eligible to switch his allegiance to Ireland.

This latest development bucks the trend after several Ulstermen, including Cookstown duo Tim Sloan and Davis Ames, ex-Annadale defender Iain Lewers, former Instonian Mark Gleghorne and former Banbridge player Kyle Marshall opted to play for England and Great Britain, having represented Ireland beforehand.

After the weekend games in Glasgow, Ireland will head to Barcelona for a four nations tournament with England, Malaysia and Spain before the Euros commence in Antwerp on August 16.

Ireland squad: Mark Ingram (Crefeld), David Fitzgerald (Monkstown), Jonathan Bell (Lisnagarvey), John Jackson (Bath Buccaneers), Lee Cole (Royal Oree), Paul Gleghorne (Crefeld), Matthew Bell (KHC Dragons), Peter McKibbin (Lisnagarvey), Stuart Loughrey (Hampstead & Westminster), Tim Cross (Tilburg), Shane O'Donoghue (KHC Dragons), Stephen Cole (Royal Oree), Daragh Walsh (KHC Leuven), Kirk Shimmins (Pembroke), Sean Murray (HC Rotterdam), Michael Robson (Crefeld), Matthew Nelson (Crefeld), Ben Walker (Three Rock Rovers), Jeremy Duncan (Herakles), Johnny McKee (Banbridge).

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