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Tuesday, August 04 2020 @ 03:02 am ACST

Axios Euro Cup Team Preview – Irish Warriors

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In the next instalment of our series of articles looking at the preparation and prospects of the various nations competing at this year’s Axios Euro Cup in Bordeaux, we look at the story of the Irish Warriors.  Pat Leavy, acting team manager of the Bordeaux bound squad, gives us his insights.

The Journey:

“The ARFLI 2013 league season has been the most competitive since the league's formation.  We currently have six full time clubs spread across the country and we have now expanded into the universities and hopefully we will see new talent emerge from this pool of players. Finals footy culminated in the South Dublin Swans winning a very exciting Grand Final overturning a 26 point half time deficit to win by 20 points.  The Grand Final epitomised all that is good in the Irish League – hard but fair contests, great fielding and score taking and a never say die attitude.”

“This will be Ireland’s fourth participation in the Euro Cup having first competed in Milan in 2010 and we hope to continue our good record in the competition.”

The Preparation:

“As Ireland were hosts for the 16 a side European Championships in August, our main focus for 2013 was to try and retain the title on home soil.  Irish Coach Shaun McElhone and his assistants Paul Brogan and Brian Currane have made great progress with the 40 or so players vying to wear the Green Guernsey in 2013.” 

“Our preparation included two very useful friendly matches against Great Britain in April which resulted in one home win each.  Both teams learned a lot from these games and you could say that they were a taster for what was to come later on in the summer when we were very fortunate to beat the impressive Bulldogs in an exciting Grand Final.”

The Squad:

“The squad which will be travelling to Bordeaux will be captained once again by John O’Regan and will include members of the EC winning squad along with some promising young talent which has emerged from the 2013 league.”

 

The Squad for the Euro Cup is as follows:-

 

John O’Regan – Captain (Galway Magpies)

James Keogh (Galway Magpies)

Dom Joyce (Leeside Lions)

Aiden Slane (North Leinster Giants)

Tom McKenna (Belfast Redbacks

Stuart McKeating (Belfast Redbacks)

Brendan Kelly (Belfast Redbacks)

Myle Treanor (Dublin Demons)

Caoilte O’Baoil (Dublin Demons

Shane Liddy (South Dublin Swans)

Martin Ryan (South Dublin Swans)

Pat Leavy (North Leinster Giants)

Paul Brogan (Belfast Redbacks)

Brian Currane (Leeside Lions)

John Enright (Dublin Demons)

The Goal:

“Our goal is to take the tournament one game at a time and meet each challenge head on as they arise.  The game of 9 a side is different to the 16 a side game with time and space at a premium but we hope that the competition will provide our players with an opportunity to prove themselves ahead of the 2014 International Cup in Melbourne.”

The Final Word:

There is very little in the way of international titles that the Irish Warriors have not either won or performed well in over the past 12 months. It would be a brave punter to bet against the Warriors to win the title again, having proved their dominance at both the 9 and 16 a side formats. Should go into the tournament as strong favourites to defend their title.

 

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