Talented Gorman swings her attention to hockey Olympics

Date Published: {J}

Keith Kelly

The international sporting life of Galway soccer sensation Dora Gorman took a back seat this week as the Barna native was to be found coaching at the Galway City Tennis Summer Camps – just days after leading the Irish U17 girls out in the final of the European Championships in Switzerland.

However Gorman’s feet won’t be on home soil for long, after she was selected on the Irish U17 girls hockey squad that will travel to Singapore in August for the first-ever World Youth Olympic Games, the only Connacht player on the Irish squad.

Such a hectic schedule will mean there is not too much time to dwell on the disappointment of last Saturday, when the Irish U17 soccer side which was captained by Gorman lost the final of the European Championships to Spain on a penalty shoot-out.

The Spaniards were technically superior to the battling Irish outfit, in which Gorman played a starring role, but they couldn’t break down the spirited underdogs who, it is safe to say, had caused the shock of women’s football last Tuesday week when beating two-time defending champions Germany in the semi-final.

Such was the stifling heat the final was played in on Saturday, tournament organisers UEFA allowed the game to be stopped for water breaks midway through both halves, and the heat took a heavy toll on the Irish side who were forced to defend for much of the game, but held on for penalties, which the Spanish won 4-1.

Disappointing as the final result was, it should not be forgotten that, thanks to that semi-final win over Germany, Noel King’s side booked their place in the World Cup finals which will be played in Trinidad and Tobago in September, meaning Gorman will be jetting around the world in the coming months to represent her country in different sports.

Ireland will open their World Cup campaign against Brazil on Monday September 6 in the 10,000-capacity Larry Gomes Stadium in Trinidad, where they will also play Canada three days later on Thursday September 9.

Their final group game is against Ghana at the Dwight Yorke Stadium – named after the former Aston Villa and Manchester United star – in Tobago on Monday September 12. The World U17 Cup takes place from September 5 to September 23.

Before all that, though, is the World Youth Olympics, which runs from August 14 to August 26, Ireland are sending representatives in athletics, boxing, rowing, sailing, triathlon, tennis and modern pentathlon, as well as hockey. In all, organisers expect more than 3,600 athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 to take part in 26 events.