30.10.2012, 01:41
Ireland squad for tough Estonia trip announced

Ireland continue their introduction to EHF EURO competition with a trip to Estonia

Ireland squad for tough Estonia trip announced

The Irish Olympic Handball Association (IOHA) announced the squad which will take part in the European Championship 2016 Qualification Round 1 in Tallinn, Estonia on the 31st of October.

This is just the second time that Ireland will pit themselves against teams at this level in a EHF EURO qualification tournament, following Ireland’s historic participation in their first ever EHF EURO qualifiers in June this year.

The squad includes the first crossover athlete from the IOHA Green Giant’s program, Brendán Ó’Riain, a basketball player from University College Dublin.

Back court players Hichem Sefroun and Kari Andresson, and goalkeeper Robert Vaughan have returned to the squad for their first EHF EURO qualifying games, which has come as a boost after a number of long term injuries hitting the Irish squad.

Ireland coach Toni Gerona said, “We are pleased with the progress that the group has made to date. They have been training incredibly hard over the summer in preparation for these games and this will be another strong challenge on the journey to create a top level international team for Ireland.”

Captain Alan O’Brien describes the impact of the first EHF EURO qualifiers on the team.

“We have had a long lead in to these games and are looking forward to putting all that training into action on the court.

"We know that these games will be difficult for us but we are improving all the time and are keen to see how are progressing against the top European sides. The atmosphere in the squad is hugely positive and we can’t wait to get on the court.”

Ireland will also face Estonia and Belgium at home in the first week of April 2013, before wrapping up their campaign against Belgium away in June 2013.

Ireland squad for the EHF EURO 2016 qualifier against Estonia

Goalkeepers: Pontus Bonaguidi (Djurgarden Handball, SWE), Robert Vaughan (Astra HC)

Left wing: Julian Eberle (UCD), Donal O'Doherty (Astra HC)

Left back: Hichem Sefroun (Dublin International HC), Kari Andresson (FC Barcelona Intersport ‘B’, ESP)

Centre back: Oisín Ó’Brannigáin (Lughnasa HC), Paddy McAuley (Lughnasa HC)

Right back: Alan O'Brien (Lughnasa HC), Steffan Meyer (HC Erlangen, GER)

Right wing: Breandán Ó'Riain (UCD), Chris Higgins (Thames HC, ENG)

Line players: Kevin Murphy (HaSpo Bayreuth, GER), Mark Fergusson (Lughnasa HC)

TEXT: Lúcás Ó'Ceallacháin (IOHA) / cor

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