"For a start we need a pitch" - Ireland Hockey World Cup stars highlight issues

Nicci Daly and Deirdre Duke chat to Joe Molloy after their memorable World Cup run to the final

BY Raf Diallo 18:16 Tuesday 7 August 2018, 18:16 7 Aug 2018

Reaching a 2018 World Cup final would have been beyond anyone's wildest dreams when the Irish team kick-started their campaign.

But get to the final they did, capturing the imagination and although a heavy defeat in Sunday's decider against the world's leading nation Netherlands ended things on a relative low, the progress made has been the real take-away.

But sustaining that progress and development of Irish hockey is the next step and there are challenges as Ireland team members Deirdre Duke and Nicci Daly revealed as they chatted to Joe Molloy on Off The Ball.

The lack of facilities is a major issue that they highlighted.

"Well, for a start we need a pitch," said Daly.

The full interview:

"We actually don't currently have an FHI approved pitch to play on."

With a rise to World No 8 status for the Olympic qualifiers, it means they would nominally get a home game but with the pitch and facility issues, that could be difficult.

"We want to get as many home fixtures as we can and really drive the momentum that we have," said Duke, highlighting the need to build on the momentum garnered from their recent success.

"But it is difficult when you don't have a place to play."

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