Matthews soaking up World Cup success

LORTEO’S Hannah Matthews is still taking in all that she and her Ireland senior hockey team mates have achieved in the World Cup in London.

The hugely experienced international was one of three players from the Beaufort club in the squad that captured silver with Nicci Daly and Ali Meeke also on the panel.

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Matthews (right) with her Ireland team mates

“In all honesty, not in our wildest dreams did we think we would get there and win a silver medal,” Matthews told The Echo.

“We always felt we could get to a quarter final and then anything could happen, because there’s always that little devil on your shoulder telling you you can do it.

“This has always been a tight-knit group of players. It was the first time that we had got to a really big tournament and so, for us, there were no consequences.

"There was not going to be that disappointment and so we had that freedom to go and play and enjoy it.

“Once we got that second win again India and went straight through to the quarter finals there was that sense that we could go far.

“For every game the support we had was great. Usually you’d have those four or five family members on the sideline, but to hear the crowd when you went out for those games, you couldn’t but enjoy it.

“We were in a bubble and we didn’t have a clue what was happening back home.

“I know myself and others came off Facebook and social media so we had no idea of all that was going on.

Just incredible

“Some of the players saw news about a homecoming and it was then that we felt that this could be getting out of control.

“But even coming home we weren’t sure if anyone would turn up, and to then see all those people, it was just incredible,” she said.

Now looking at the potential for Irish hockey that this feat could unlock, Matthews added, “It would be great if we could get more people playing the sport throughout the country and show that it is not just a private school, elitist sport.

“It would be great if we could get more funding and develop a national centre especially with the Olympic qualifiers coming up.”

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