Three Trinity students – Sorcha Tiernan, Rachel Huijsdens and Alison Blaney – have been named in the Ireland under-20 squad for this summer’s European Championship Division B in Kosovo.
All three players have already represented Ireland on the international stage at various levels. Tiernan and Huijsdens were both part of the Ireland side that were runners-up at the under-18 European Championship Division B two years ago in Dublin. Blaney previously represented Ireland at the 2017 under-20 European Championship Division B in Eilat, Israel.
The final roster of 12 players, announced this week by head coach Martin Conroy, will make the trip to Kosovo for the tournament, where they will face Ukraine and Great Britain in the group phase.
In an email statement to The University Times Tiernan – who this year captained Trinity’s freshers’ team and won Women’s Super League Young Player of the Year in April – said: “It is a great honour to be included in this year’s under-20 squad … it’s always a very proud moment to hear your name called out for Ireland.”
“We will take each game as it comes”, Tierney said, “but would hope to win our initial group games against Great Britain and Ukraine and progress to the quarterfinal round”.
Blaney told The University Times in an email statement that “it’s a very talented group of players and I think we should do well at the European Championships … we’ve been training hard and as a group we get on very well together. Hopefully that will be reflected on the court”.
Announcing the squad, Conroy said: “Making this selection was one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make as a basketball coach.”
“We started with an extremely talented panel and they made it really difficult for the coaches to select the final 12”, he said. “This team brings everything that we need to go out and win games in Kosovo this coming summer.”
Ireland last took part in the European Championships at this grade in 2017, exiting the tournament at the group stage without winning a match.