Cratloe’s Naomi Carroll has been named in Ireland’s squad for next month’s Women’s FIH Hockey World Cup.
Carroll was named in Sean Dancer’s squad as she looks set to represent her country in this competition for the first time.
The experienced forward has enjoyed an excellent campaign with Catholic Institute, helping them secure the Irish Senior Cup for the first time in the club’s history.
She scored the only goal of the game to help Catholic Institute win their first ever senior crown. The former Clare ladies footballer and camogie player helped her side to the Champions Trophy final and to second place in the EY Hockey League.
The teacher at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh missed out on making the Irish squad for the previous World Cup in 2018 with the side subsequently reaching the final.
To compound matters, she suffered a tear in her anterior cruciate ligament injury when lining out with the Clare ladies footballers that summer.
Despite the long road to recovery and subsequently the COVID enforced lockdowns, Carroll worked her way back to full fitness and in to the national mix.
The Mary Immaculate College graduate got her chance and grabbed a goal against Scotland last June in the EuroHockey Championships.
Since then, she also represented her country in the biggest sporting competition in the world; The Olympic Games. Carroll was part of an historic group with Ireland having never competed at the Olympics before travelling to Tokyo.
They secured their first ever win in the competition in their inaugural game against South Africa. Despite this result, Ireland fell short in their attempts to reach the knockout stages.
However, in what was a huge year for women’s hockey in Ireland, the team qualified for the World Cup as they beat Wales last October.
Ireland are in the midst of playing four games against world no. 10 side Japan in preparation for the World Cup. After losing 2-0 on Saturday, Sean Dancer’s side responded a day later with a 1-0 win as Carroll fired in the winning goal.
Carroll and Ireland start off on July 2 against the hosts and current world number one side, the Netherlands, who beat Ireland in the 2018 World Cup final and in the Olympic Games last summer.
Next on the agenda is a July 5 date against tournament debutantes Chile before concluding the group stage a day later against Germany, who are ranked fifth in the world.
Top spot in the group advances direct to the quarter final stage with the second and third placed nations facing an extra game to reach that stage in the crossover playoffs. Fourth in the group will go into the 9th to 16th place playoffs.