Ireland’s most capped international hockey player, Eugene Magee, says he can’t wait to rejoin Banbridge.
The 27-year-old spent his formative years with the club and, after time away in Holland and Belgium, the club has announced that the Ballela man is coming back to Havelock Park.
It will be hoped that Magee can be a vital piece in the jigsaw as Bann look to build on last year’s Ulster League win.
The club also reached the final of the Irish Cup and the IHL, but came away empty handed on both occasions to Monkstown.
Magee said, “I’m delighted to be coming back to Bann again.
“The club has just had one of the best seasons in recent history and I’m looking forward to getting back into pre-season training with the lads.”
The news has been welcomed by club President, Neil Madeley.
“We are absolutely delighted that Eugene is returning to Banbridge after some years away from the club,” he said.
“He is an exceptional talent and it is great for Bann to have someone of his standing back playing with us.
“His experience on and off the pitch will further strengthen our senior team as we strive to add to our recent successes.
“Eugene has maintained his strong links with the club over the years and everyone at Havelock Park is looking forward to him joining forces with younger brother Owen in the team. ”
Eugene started his hockey career in Banbridge but in 2009 moved to play professional hockey in mainland Europe, playing in Holland and Belgium before joining Krefeld Hockey Club in Germany last season.
Eugene has represented Ulster and Ireland at every level, making his debut for the Irish senior team, while still a pupil at Banbridge Academy, against Belgium in Dublin in 2005.
In his 168 appearances for Ireland, he has scored 38 goals.
At the start of the month Magee had to pull out of Ireland’s World League semi-final due to a knee complaint.