Swim Ireland Announce National Squads For 2020-21 Season

Shane Ryan
Shane Ryan: Photo Courtesy: Swim Ireland

Swim Ireland have today announced 38 swimmers who will form three cohorts of national squads for the 2020-2021 season.

There is a change in structure to the national squad programme with the performance team planning for the start of the Olympic cycle into Paris 2024 while also working towards Tokyo 2020, now rescheduled for July 2021.

Conor Ferguson, national 200m backstroke record holder, 2018 European 50 back bronze medallist Shane Ryan, Darragh Greene – who was locked out of the 100 breaststroke semis at last year’s World Championships by o.07secs – and triple national record holder Brendan Hyland are all included in the performance cohort.

Danielle Hill

Danielle Hill: Photo Courtesy: Swim Ireland

Joining them in the 12-strong group are Danielle Hill, who lowered her own national 100m backstroke  record to 1:00.90 at the McCullagh International in Bangor in February in the weeks before lockdown, and Niamh Coyne, who competed in the 50 breaststroke at the 2019 worlds.

Mona McSharry, the former world junior 100m breaststroke champion and 50m bronze medallist at the 2019 European Short-Course Championships in Glasgow, has not been selected for the group after moving to the University of Tennessee although this does not in any way affect her eligibility for the national team.

So too Molly Mayne and Sean McNicholl who are based at Hamilton Aquatics in the United Arab Emirates and Georgia Tech in the United States respectively.

There will be a three-tiered system encompassing the Performance (PE) cohort for Olympic Games 2021 identified athletes, a Performance Transition (PT) cohort focused on both the 2021 and 2024 Olympic Games and a Performance Pathway (PP) group with a 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games focus.

sw ireland

Photo Courtesy: Swim Ireland

The tiering of the programme into three levels will be continued each season across the 2020-2024 cycle into the Paris Games.

The performance cohort has a strong relay focus with Ireland not having yet qualified any relay berths for 2021 and none since Munich 1972.

National performance director Jon Rudd and national senior team head coach Ben Higson will have primary oversight of this group of athletes as Ireland prepare for their Olympic Trials in Dublin from 20–24 April next year.

Performance Cohort

Name

Surname

Home Programme

Coach

Calum

Bain

University of Stirling (UK)

Bradley Hay

Niamh

Coyne

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg

Conor

Ferguson

Larne SC

Peter Hill

Darragh 

Greene

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg

Danielle

Hill

Larne SC

Peter Hill

Brendan

Hyland

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg

Jack

McMillan

Bangor SC

Paul Dennis

Cillian

Melly

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg

Nicholas

Quinn

University of Edinburgh (UK)

Chris Jones

Shane

Ryan

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg

Jordan

Sloan

Bangor SC

Paul Dennis

Ellen

Walshe

Templeogue SC (Dublin)

Brian Sweeney

The newly-identified Performance Transition cohort features 2019 European Junior and 2019 World Junior breaststroke finalist Eoin Corby alongside Ireland’s strongest performers at junior level over recent years. Higson will also have primary oversight of this group of athletes, some of whom will have the 2021 Olympic Games in mind with others placing their focus on the 2021 World University Games. 

Performance Transition Cohort

Name

Surname

Home Programme

Coach

Victoria

Catterson

Ards SC (Newtonards)

Davy Johnston

Uiseann

Cooke

University of Edinburgh (UK)

Chris Jones

Eoin

Corby

National Centre (Limerick)

John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy

Andrew

Feenan

National Centre (Limerick)

John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy

Maria

Godden

Kilkenny SC

John Duffy

Michael

Hewitt

Ards SC (Newtonards)

Davy Johnston

Paddy

Johnston

Ards SC (Newtonards)

Davy Johnston

Sophie

Maguire

University of Birmingham (UK)

Gary Humpage

Cadan

McCarthy

National Centre (Limerick)

John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy

Rory

McEvoy

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg

Finn

McGeever

National Centre (Limerick)

John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy

Gerry

Quinn

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg

Daniel

Wiffen

Loughborough University (UK)

Andi Manley

The Performance Pathway cohort of athletes comprises Ireland’s brightest current prospects, including 2019 European Junior and 2019 World Junior athlete Amelia Kane, 2019 European Junior athlete Sean Scannell and 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival athlete Ellie McKibbin. National Performance Pathway Manager Andrew Reid will have primary oversight of this group of athletes, with the 2021 LEN European Junior Championships and FINA World Junior Championships the premier focus for this group.  

Performance Pathway Cohort

Name

Surname

Home Programme

Coach

Ethan

Hansen

Mount Kelly (UK)

Emma Collings-Barnes

Grace 

Hodgins

Trojan SC (Dublin)

Jonathan Preston

Amelia

Kane

Ards SC (Newtonards)

Davy Johnston

Julia

Knox

Banbridge SC

Davy Wilson

Mollie

McAlorum

Leander SC (Belfast)

Kathryn Wylie

Ellie

McCartney

Enniskillen Lakelanders SC

Aaron Rickhuss

Ellie

McKibbin

Ards SC (Newtonards)

Davy Johnston

Hannah

O’Shea

Dolphin SC (Cork)

Mick McCormack

Cora

Rooney

Enniskillen Lakelanders SC

Aaron Rickhuss

Aisling

Rowlands

Millfield School (UK)

Euan Dale

Sean

Scannell

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg

Naomi

Trait

Kilkenny SC

John Duffy

Ben

Woodside

Larne SC

Peter Hill

The COVID-19 virus disrupted the majority of the 2019-2020 long-course season with both domestic and international competitions unable to take place in the March–August 2020 period.

As such, the usual method of considering performances at the Irish Open Championships and a summer benchmark meet was not possible.

It was also felt that using short-course performances from the September-December 2019 period was not appropriate in identifying the athletes for this programme.

As such, a revised selection criteria was adopted for these unprecedented circumstances and will only be utilised for this one particular season.

jonrudd

Jon Rudd – Photo Courtesy: Jon Rudd

Rudd said:

“The Swim Ireland National Squad is a programme designed to assist and add value to each athlete’s home programme environment.

“The programme will provide these athletes and their home programme coaches access to opportunities and services which may otherwise be limited or unavailable to them.

“However, we strongly believe that this particular programme is so much more than camps, meets and services.

“It is about who we are, our identity as we approach an Olympic Games in 2021 and is a component which is key to further develop the performance culture within Irish swimming.

“We have strong beliefs and values and we have high standards and expectations; as such, our National Squad allows us ensure that when we walk into the arena together, we are galvanised, aligned and we possess a collective understanding of what is expected and required of us and from us.

“This is a very exciting group of athletes and we look forward to working with and for them over the months to come.”

 

 


Advertising: Shop At Swim360


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.