Hockey Ireland Update

Hockey Ireland COVID-19 Update regarding Level 5 COVID-19 Restrictions

As of midnight, on Wednesday 21st October, the Republic of Ireland is moving to Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions. These restrictions will remain in place for a period of 6 weeks. The effect of these restrictions on Hockey activity have been highlighted below.

These restrictions will apply to all Clubs in the Republic of Ireland.

Under Level 5, individual training only is permitted, and no matches are to take place. The exemptions to this are:

1. Non-contact training can continue for school-aged children, outdoors in pods of 15. This means that at no point during the session should a player come within 2m of another player. Exercises involving tackling (such as 1v1s), marking or match play should not be undertaken.
2. Elite sports* are permitted to continue behind closed doors – For Hockey this has been defined as the National Senior Men’s and Women’s Programmes. They are permitted to train and play behind closed doors.

*Please note: This category has been defined by the ‘Return to Sport Expert Group’ which has been established by the ROI government to provide guidance to Ireland’s sporting bodies to prepare for the phased return to sporting activity.

Under Level 5, while domestic travel restrictions do not allow movement outside of a 5-kilometre radius of home, it is permitted to take school-aged children to club training sessions. Club coaches may also travel to training sessions.

H. D. Judge Trophy

Last night, Peter Agnew presented Mark Cullen with the H.D. Judge Trophy, in memory of David Judge who passed away in 2015.

Thank you to Peter Agnew who provided the following text:

H. D. Judge attended Avoca School, then went to Patora, Captain Dublin University, played his Club hockey with Three Rock Rovers, was in the Guinness Book of records for the most Hockey caps, played 125 times for Ireland and was a member of the GB team in the Tokyo Olympics, he was also President of the Leinster Branch and over saw the merger of the Leinster men and ladies Union, he returned to coach the Avoca Men who finished 5th in the European A Division in Barcelona; the highest ever placing by an Irish Men’s team in an A division.

M. P. Cullen took up Hockey late when he arrived in Newpark from Willow College, played in the U21 World Cup in Paris and became a regular Indoor and Outdoor International, a member of the 1982 Mills cup winning team, the club’s first senior Trophy, Mark would go on to win over 50 senior trophies with the Club. Mark coached the Men’s senior team for ten years and was also instrumental putting Newpark hockey back on the map, he was the obvious choice to receive the H D Judge Trophy presented to the club by David’s wife Grania, for services to the Club. Granie’s father, Mr. Findlater also attended Avoca school and was a past President of the Irish Hockey Union.

Club News

Dear Club Member,

Welcome to the 2020-21 season. This is a special year for Avoca Hockey Club – we are 125 years old!

For those of you who are new to the club, you are very welcome to the Avoca family, and we hope you find playing with Avoca to be a fun and enjoyable experience.

During the lead up to the season the club committee started to action our 5 year plan and begin a journey of transformation. We are laying the foundations for the next 125 years of the club!

Lots of growth and positive change achieved over the summer:

• We are in a position to enter a 5th men’s team in the Leinster leagues which reflects the huge amount of work that has gone in to building up the men’s section.

• Again due to the hard work of our ladies captain and her team, we have created a ladies 6th team and also introduced a 2nd ladies vets team following a very successful ‘Give Hockey a Go!’ programme run through a collaboration between the men’s and ladies sections

• Our junior section is thriving and we have added junior hockey on Friday nights in Newpark. This has enabled us to offer hockey to approximately 100 new junior members who have been on a waiting list.

• We are always looking to build on numbers for our boys section so if anyone knows of any boys out there looking to try something new, please get in touch; we would be delighted to speak to them. We are planning some free hockey for boys to get a taster, but more on that when Restrictions are lifted.

Congratulations to all the Avoca players recently selected for the U16 and U18 inter pro squads, a real testament to our junior section. We are so proud of them and they are an inspiration to all our young budding hockey stars.

As many of you know, Rudi Wortmann has come on board as our new director of hockey. Rudi is working with the committee and coaches across all sections of the club, to enhance the structures already in place and ensure quality coaching for all. With real focus on both coaching and each player’s own development, we are laying a solid foundation for quality hockey from our youngest member to our oldest.

As it is our 125th year we had great plans for how we were going to celebrate, but, it goes without saying that Covid 19 has had a significant impact on these plans. The resurfacing of Newpark had to be delayed but it is still top of our to do list and we will be looking to you our members to support this project. There are other events planned as part of the celebrations so please watch the social media platforms and download the new ClubZap app if you have not already done so to keep up to date with all club news.

The App was another of our summer successes and huge thanks to Al Robinson and all the managers for making it work for us all so quickly.

The public health guidelines that we must follow are constantly changing and no doubt this will continue throughout the season. We are doing everything that we can to facilitate as much Hockey as possible and to work within the guidelines. Could I ask all members and parents to please follow the guidance you are given from your captain/manager/covid officer, it is for your safety as well as the safety of your teammates and families. Hopefully we will get back to a full programme of hockey in the near future.

Unfortunately most teams are not allowed to play matches yet, however our men’s 1st and 2nd squads and our ladies 1st squad can play, so keep an eye out for their results. The ladies got us off to a winning start on Saturday (well done ladies) and I know the men are itching to continue this when they get their league campaign underway. Very best of luck to the men’s 4ths who are competing in the final of last season’s Minor Cup this weekend. Whilst we can’t be there to support – you know we are all cheering you on!

Finally, a massive thank you to all of you who have been working so tirelessly, and with such passion and dedication, to get the season up and running. So much more work than ever before had to go in to preparations so to the committee, managers and coaches – a huge Thank You!

Wishing you all the best for the coming season, enjoy yourself because that’s why we play.

Caroline Daly

President Avoca Hockey Club

Fearsome 4s Cup Final

The Fearsome 4s who were only formed at the start of last year, play in the postponed 2019/20 Minor Cup Final this weekend against North Kildare. Normally, these matches are played in neutral venues, however, due to COVID-19, the venue has now been changed from a home fixture to an away one; alas, the Fearsome 4s have been preparing long and hard for their big day and will relish the challenge.

Special shirts were ordered last month and these have now arrived. Players can complete payment for these here:

Club Cup Final Jersey

The Fearsome 4s Cup 2020 Final Jersey. Only purchase if you have pre-ordered!


LHA Statement on COVID-19

RE: Government announcement on Covid 19 that Dublin is placed on Level 3 from midnight

Following Hockey Ireland’s statement and the Government announcement that Dublin is moving to Level 3 of the Living with Covid plan from midnight tonight (18092020) and having regard to the guidelines by the Sport Ireland Return to Sport Expert Group, the LHA Board, Ladies and Men’s Committees have confirmed the following:

· Finals scheduled for 18 – 20th September can proceed as scheduled

· Men’s Cup Finals carried over from the 2019/20 season scheduled for the 03rd October are considered to be “pre-planned” and so are permitted

· Men’s Division 1A and 1B can proceed as scheduled

· Ladies Division 1 and 2 can proceed as scheduled

· Ladies and Men’s Divisions 3 – 13 will commence on 10th October (per published fixture schedule)

This will be kept under review and may be subject to change in line with Government announcements.

2020/21 Season

The Leinster Hockey Men’s Committee has been furiously working with Hockey Ireland to create some semblance of normality for the 2020/21 Hockey Season and a document has been put together to help answer your questions.

The document is open for comment and the committee would welcome any comments or questions.

A similar document should be forthcoming for the ladies section and the junior section.

Coaching Structure

Thanks for all your support so far during the Covid and preseason. Nonetheless the start of our season is finally here. Men’s and women’s first and second teams have already started with pre-season and our men’s 4s commenced training last week with a cup final to prepare for.

For the rest of the teams, both junior and senior, we plan to start our season on 30th August. Times have been allocated and will be made public soon. Coaches will be assigned for each team/group this week.

We have made or are making changes within our coaching structure, and in order to make sure that all of the coaches are up-to-date, we have organising meetings on Sunday 23rd August in Newpark school covering the following topics:

  • Coaching pathway
  • Avoca’s technical hockey plan            
  • Coaching allocation
  • Junior Coordinators

If you would like to attend one of the sessions below, get in touch with our Director of Hockey Rudi Wortmann on

  • Sunday morning 10.30 – 12.30
  • Sunday afternoon 14.00-16.00
  • Sunday afternoon 17.00-18.30 (Goalkeepers coaches only)