Banbridge Hockey Club star Eugene Magee is heading to the Rio Olympics.
Magee has been selected as part of the Irish Men’s squad bound for the Olympic Games later this month.
The Irish Men’s Coach Craig Fulton announced the final 16-man squad plus three travelling reserves on Monday following months of training in preparation for the Olympic Games.
Banbridge Hockey Club President Roger Martin said the whole club was ‘absolutely delighted’ for Eugene.
Roger Martin stated; “Huge congratulations to Eugene on being selected for the squad heading to Rio.
“This is a major achievement for Eugene and the whole club is absolutely delighted for him.
“It is brilliant that we will have an Olympic athlete as part of this club and we hope it will inspire our players, particularly our junior members as to what they could achieve through hard work and dedication to the sport.”
It’s quite the achievement for the Irish team, as it makes them not only the first Irish hockey team to qualify for the Games since 1908, but also the first Irish team from any sport to qualify since 1948.
Interestlingly a Banbridge member RL Kennedy was part of the 1908 Irish hockey squad that competed in the Olympic games in London that year.
Roger continued; “This is the first time an Irish hockey team have qualified for the Olympics since 1908 so it is a fantastic boost for the club and hockey in general and we are really excited about seeing one of our members competing for the Green Machine at this level.
“We wish Eugene and the Irish squad all the best in the Games and we will all be supporting them in their forthcoming games which start on Saturday 6 August.”
Roger added; “We also pay tribute to our other members who have been part of the Ireland squad in recent years and months in the lead up to qualification and in preparation for the Olympics; they have all played their part in getting the Irish squad to where it is today and while they will be disappointed to have missed out this time, we are immensely proud of them all at the club and their huge achievements to date.”