Ireland U18 women’s head coach Tommy O’Mahony has named his 12-person final squad for the FIBA U18 Women’s European Challengers 2021, that will take place in Klatovy, Czech Republic from 27th July – 1st August.
Kilkenny Stars player Lucy Coogan along with three other uncapped players are in line for their international debuts. Lucy is following in the footsteps of her sister Ava who was recently named on the Irish U20 squad.
Head coach Tommy O’Mahony hailed the hard work and dedication of his squad ahead of the FIBA European Challengers, “Over the last month the squad have put in a tremendous effort in their preparation for the FIBA European Challengers. We are delighted with the effort and application that the players have shown thus far. Due to the fact that we have been off court for a long period we had to adjust our plans, which the players have wholeheartedly bought in to”, he said.
O’Mahony added, “We are looking forward to testing our skills against some of the best countries in Europe. While we are sure all the girls are delighted to make it this far, they also realise that a lot of effort is required in the next couple of weeks to make sure we are in prime condition to compete at this level. Bringing the squad down to 12 was an incredibly difficult task and the management staff would like to thank all panel members to date for their efforts. While some players are disappointed that they missed out, we are sure they will come back stronger when the season starts.”
30 teams registered for FIBA U18 Women’s European Challengers, with team seedings and group allocation based off U16 results from 2019, the last time youth FIBA European Championships took place. Ireland are in Group B of the FIBA U18 Women’s European Challengers and will play Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey and Serbia. The tournament has a round robin format, game schedules and times are still to be confirmed by FIBA.
In May FIBA cancelled all youth European Championships, due to the logistics of holding large-scale events during the current Covid-19 pandemic. They were replaced with the FIBA European Challengers 2021. The events are played on a voluntary participation basis.