The Irish Women have qualified for the Hockey World Cup for the time since 2002.
Australia’s victory over Papua New Guinea in the Oceania Cup early this morning means that the Green Army have qualified for the World Cup Finals in 2018.
This is only the fourth time in the 43 year history of the World Cup that Ireland Women have taken part.
“We are delighted to receive confirmation of qualification as this was our No 1 objective for 2017” explained head coach Graham Shaw.
“We want to be competing in all major competitions and the World Cup in London will be special since Great Britain won the gold medal in Rio.”
“I am sure they will put on a fantastic show, that we are proud to now be a part of” added Shaw.
This is a fantastic achievement and the culmination of a successful summer with both of Ireland’s men’s and women’s teams now qualified!
The last time the men were in the World Cup Finals was 1990 and the women have not featured since 2002.
The intervening period since qualification has been a flurry of planning as all the qualified nations settle their preparation programs for the run in to both World Cups.
The women will be first up in July 2018 in London while the men will play in late November 2018 in India.
The women have finalised their program which will see a number of single nation match series against Scotland in October and both Scotland and Great Britain, the Olympic Gold medalists in March as well as a tri-nations tournament in January in Spain with Belgium, the recent European Silver medalists also featuring.
The men will start their program after Christmas and a key highlight of their program will be attending the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia in March.
Hookhockey.com editor Stephen Findlater spoke to Shannonside FM’s Dave Hooper about the news.