Limerick hockey star Upton sets sights on 2018 World Cup

Limerick hockey star Upton sets sights on 2018 World Cup

LIMERICK hockey player Roisin Upton is part of the Irish squad that travels to Kuala Lumpur this Tuesday for the first round of World Cup qualifying.

Upton has been named in the 18 player squad that will play three games against Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong.

It will be the first time that the former Crescent College Comprehensive student takes part in a ranking event for her country and she is expected to take the place of the regular captain of the side Megan Frazer, who will miss the trip due to injury.

Upton gained notoriety when she won back to back National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) American titles in 2013 and 2014 with the University of Connecticut.

The 22-year-old former Catholic Institute player now plies her trade with third placed Cork Harlequins in the Ernst and Young Women’s Hockey League.

Ireland have not qualified for the World Cup since 2002 and go into the tournament as the second highest ranked team behind Italy.

As part of their pre-tournament preparations, Ireland play against the tournament hosts and Italy in friendly matches before the first qualifying game against Kazakhstan on January 14.

In order to reach the next stage of the 2018 World Cup qualification, Ireland need to secure a top two finish in Kuala Lumpur.

If that is achieved, they could play either Belgium or South Africa during the summer in World League 3.