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"The team's the strongest it's ever been" | Ireland hockey team target Olympics qualification

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

06:17 23 Oct 2019

Ireland's hockey team have got a pivotal challenge coming up on the weekend of November 2nd.

With the 2020 Olympics on the horizon, they take on Canada at Donnybrook Stadium in the 2019 Women's FIH Olympic Qualifiers.

The side are aiming to repeat the success they enjoyed at the 2018 Hockey World Cup. Last summer, they made light of their outsiders' tag en route to a memorable run to the final.

Ultimately, Ireland finished second at the tournament. But as the Olympics appear on the horizon, the team are feeling stronger than ever.

This week on Off The Bench, World Cup silver medalists Nicci Daly and Lena Tice, as well as 2019 debutant Sarah Hawkshaw joined our own Cliona Foley for a chat about hockey and more.

For Nicci Daly, the team have been building strongly on their foundations.

"I think the team is the strongest it's ever been since I've been in it," said Daly.

Crucial


"And I think we just have to keep going through our preparations. These next two weeks are really crucial. And then the two games [against Canada] come."

Tice also highlighted the challenge Canada will pose to Ireland.

"They've grown a lot," she explained.

"They're centralised over in Belgium. So they all play their club hockey in Belgium and Holland and they train over there. So they've given up a lot of their lives which means they'll be absolutely gunning for it.

"We certainly won't be underestimating them, that's for sure."

You can listen to this week's Off The Bench below or you can also watch above via our YouTube channel:

"The team's the strongest it's ever been" | Ireland hockey team target Olympics qualification

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Hockey Ireland Lena Tice Nicci Daly Off The Ball Olympics Sarah Hawkshaw

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