Irish goalkeeper David Harte who is currently playing at the Malaysia Hockey League in Malaysia cannot be more relieved. Speaking to a newspaper, he said thank God Irish Players don’t have to contribute to the national hockey programme this year and that they can fully focus on qualifying for the Olympics.
Each Irish hockey player in the past has had to contribute money to the national hockey programme every year as their association didn’t have the funds.
“Each player has to fork out between €750 and €1,000 (RM3,520-RM4,693) to represent their country in tournaments,” said the Irish Skipper.
“But thank God all that has changed. We managed to get sponsors and also grants from the government since our success in qualifying for the Rio de Janerio Olympics in 2016 and also the World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, last year,” said Harte.
“The players didn’t have to contribute to the national hockey team last year and they don’t have to this year,” Harte said.
“The players can now fully focus on their hockey careers to qualify for the Olympics,” said Harte, who has represented Ireland since 2006.
David Harte who has 215 international caps, has captained Ireland both in the Rio Olympics and the World Cup last year.
He was also a member of the Ireland team that won bronze at the 2015 Men’s Euro Hockey Nations in London.