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Mardyke Arena UCC Partner with the Irish Senior Women’s Basketball Team

12th June 2016

The Ireland Senior Women’s National Team can win the 2016 FIBA European Championships for Small Countries, according to their Head Coach. Mark Scannell was speaking at the launch of a partnership between his squad and the Mardyke Arena UCC.

“We’re going out there to win the tournament, but we have to get the steps right along the way if we’re going to achieve that,” said Scannell. The squad fly to Gibraltar to face Moldova and Wales in the Group Stages of the European Championships on June 28th and June 29th. Ireland are back in action at senior level after a seven year hiatus, but have finished as runners-up in the competition on three previous occasions.

The Mardyke has been a training hub for the squad since reforming in late 2015. Open trials were held at the Arena in December and the Munster based members of the squad have been training there midweek along with the wider squad at weekends. The championship squad of 12 players has full access to the elite training facilities and will wear the Mardyke Arena UCC logo on their gear in Europe.

“We think we’re ready,” said Scannell, who is also at the Helm of Team Montenotte Hotel, “but we can’t tell what the opposition is like from here so there’s going to be a lot of work done on the ground when we get out there too. “

“We have players who are stars in their clubs but at international level they have to make the same impact with half the opportunities. That’s why it’s so important that everyone understands their roles.

Mardyke Arena UCC General Manager Patsy Ryan has himself been a National League Basketball Coach. “Since opening in 2001 we’ve had a strong relationship with basketball,” he said. “The partnership with the Senior Women’s team mixes well with what we’re trying to do here at an elite level. We have a lot of international players, athletes and Olympians using the arena, so when an international basketball squad wants to train in Cork, this is where we want them to be.”

Pictured at the launch of the Partnership between the Ireland Senior Women’s National Squad and the Mardyke Arena UCC

Back Row L to R: Francis O’Sullivan (Ireland Assistant Coach), Aoife McDermott, Casey Grace, Amy Waters (Ireland), Grace O’Sullivan (Ireland Team Manager)
Front Row L to R: Bernard O’Byrne (Basketball Ireland), Patsy Ryan (Mardyke Arena UCC), Cllr. Chris O'Leary, Lord Mayor of Cork, Aine McKenna (Ireland), Mark Scannell (Ireland Head Coach), Paul Kelleher (Ireland Assistant Coach)

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