Former Banbridge player called up to Scotland squad

Ben Cosgrove in action for Banbridge Academy in the 2013 Burney Cup final. Pic: Presseye.
Ben Cosgrove in action for Banbridge Academy in the 2013 Burney Cup final. Pic: Presseye.

Banbridge Academy are no strangers to churning out international hockey stars but former pupil Ben Cosgrove has broke the mould.

Cosgrove, who went to the University of Dundee to study dentistry, has received a call-up to the senior Scotland squad for their final preparation for World League Two.

Should Cosgrove hold his spot in the squad with strong performances in the three test matches against Russia in Spain, he will strut his stuff back in Northern Ireland in the World League tournament.

He represented Ireland at Under 21 level before opting to switch allegiances after leaving Banbridge Academy in 2013.

Cosgrove, son of former Mossley coach Fergie, won four consecutive Burney Cup titles while at the school. Master in Charge of Hockey Mark Cordner was quick to pay tribute to his former star player.

“We’re all absolutely made up for Ben,” he said.

“His father put in a lot of hard work during his years as a teacher and hockey coach at the school and Ben is a chip off the old block in terms of his dedication to his sport. We’re delighted that he has continued to improve himself. Regardless of which country he is playing for, it’s a huge privilege to play international hockey and we wish him all the very best.”

While Cosgrove is first Academy graduate to represent hockey, he is following familiar footsteps in terms of Banbridge Hockey Club’s exports as club stalwart Douglas Anderson also played for the Scots.

Scotland’s games against Russia will take place on Sunday, Monday and on Wednesday. World League Two, meanwhile, will be played from March 11 to March 19 in Belfast.

Derek Forsyth, Scotland Men’s Head Coach, said: “This is the start of our build up towards World League Two and the games against Russia will be a good test. The squad is looking forward to the challenges ahead throughout 2017. Our main aim is to ensure our participation in the Commonwealth Games Gold Coast in 2018.”