Academy buoyed by international selection

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The local side have been boosted by the news that both Aaron Reid and Timothy Watt have made it onto the final Irish U18 side. Alongside the inclusion of Jake Rowe in the Irish U16 final 24 panel and Jonny McKee in the Ulster U21 squad, it means the Academy have a wealth of talent amongst the team for the Sinton’s at the Bridge Burney Cup clash against Sullivan Upper.

Academy’s Master in charge of Hockey Mark Cordner said: “We, as a school sports community, are delighted for all the players who have been selected for Ulster and Irish sides whether it be at 16, 18 or 21s level. They are tremendous ambassadors for our schools hockey brand and indeed it’s a reflection of not just their talents but their dedication to the sport.

“Not only am I delighted for the school and the club but the wider district, as once again Banbridge is strongly represented at a major hockey event. The boys have a hunger to keep improving and I am delighted for their families as they have been such great supporters of Academy hockey since their arrival here at the school.

“We have worked closely with the club, Ulster and Ireland as our players are involved in Irish Junior Cup games, Senior Cup games or Interpro events as well as hopefully the Ulster and Irish sides in a Four Nations Cup.”

For tomorrow’s Burney Cup opener, the Academy are without Joshua Rowe, who is sidelined with a broken thumb but Cordner is confident that the squad has what it takes to see off last year’s beaten finalists.

He said: “The game should see an open flowing game of hockey. The Academy have been looking more dominant in the attack recently having scored 11 goals in their last two encounters. The team have the likes of Neville, McKee, Watt and McCracken in the ranks from set pieces and with Farson and Warnock now clicking well together up front, the game should be a good spectacle.

“The return of Armstrong and Knox has given real steal to the defence and with Hurst, McCracken, Campbell and Scott all showing top class performances in Dublin mid week in a 5-4 win, the selection will be close for the 16 places.

“This year has, in my opinion, been a real success for players as they have been able to rest, recover and perform on a consistent basis. The boys are in great spirit and with just one player currently injured we are in a position to hopefully play to our full potential.”

The game will be umpired by Richard Cowan (Cullybackey HS) and Patrick Kilpatrick (Downpatrick Academy). All support is very welcome for tomorrow’s match.

Banbridge Academy Squad to face sullivan upper tomorrow (Wednesday): J.Glass, A.Adair, T.Watt, B.Knox, M.Hurst, D.Armstrong, J.McKee, A.Reid, C.Neville, A.Ferguson, D.McCracken, S.Farson, R.Scott, M.Campbel, M.Warnock, S.Watson, Jake Rowe

Injured: Joshua Rowe