Irish Off to European Youths

Cadet Girls

15th July sees a small, but fiercely determined, Irish squad depart for Istanbul, Turkey, to partipate in the European Youth Championships. 557 players from 46 countries in Europe will play at the World Trade Center Istanbul for the right to be crowned European Champion.

Ireland has entered a squad of five players. In the Junior Boys, recent gold medalists at the Senior Schools International – Paul McCreery and Ashley Robinson – are joined by Sam Logue of ALSAA TTC. This squad of players are coming off the back of an epic 09/10 season, with a Premier League win in the Junior British League as well as some outstanding performances in Europe. They are the three top ranked Junior players domestically and significantly are all also in the top 7 of the Butterfly National Senior rankings. McCreery is our top ranked player at this event, and is ranked 38 in Europe at Junior level. Marcus McDonnell is the coach for the event.

In the Junior Boys, Ireland face Romania, Luxembourg and Georgia in Group E. Romania are the top seed and look strong. In Hunor Szocs, they have a very dangerous Number 1 who will look to impose his class on the group – at rank 26 in Europe, he is the only higher ranked player than McCreery in the group. Luxembourg have Sven Hansen as their stand-out performer who may also test the Irish, while Georgia are an unknown quantity.  Ireland will feel they have a chance against every team in this group, and will be disappointed with anything below 2nd place. They will need to be at their very best to challenge the Romanians, but with McCreery and Robinson in top form, and Logue fresh after a minor injury, there is no reason why the Irish cannot progress here.

In the Cadet GirlsAshley Givan and Edel O’Reilly again join forces in what is becoming a familiar looking pair at this level. Givan has had a fantastic season both domestically and internationally, capped recently with Gold at the Senior Schools International. O’Reilly finished a remarkably consistent domestic season(she recahed the Final of every major domestic Cadet event) as No.2 in the Cadet rankings and at No.5 in the Junior rankings. The girls have a tough draw in Group I, facing Ukraine, Belgium and Israel. Israel are the top seeds in the group and have a real talent in Nicole Trossman – ranked 22 in Europe. Belgium’s Marchetti is also a highly rated player at Cadet level. The Irish are seeded 3rd in this group and will need to pull off some outstanding performances under pressure to progress from this group.

Speaking before the departure of the Irish team, ITTA Technical Director John O’Donoghue stated:

The European Youths is a top class tournament and it a great honour for the selected players to represent the country in Turkey. Wins at this event are a hard-fough for commodity and the team have prepared for the major tests that lie ahead. I would like to wish the players and coaches the best of luck for the Championships

ETTU new web TV partner will cover the whole Istanbul event with “live” and “on demand” broadcasting available for free at