|European Championships: Northern Ireland, July 2002|
No room for Shields and Curry in Ireland's preliminary European squad
24 June 2002
PETER Shields and Decker Curry are the notable absentees from the Ireland squad of 25 from which the final 13 for the European Championships will be selected next weekend. The enlarged squad, which had to be submitted to ECC four weeks before the tournament, is virtually unchanged from the winter-training squad although the non-appearance of the North Down and Limavady captains, since their original selection, left them on the sidelines.
Curry has yet to confirm his return to full fitness and although Shields was given a lifeline by the NCU selectors when chosen for the rained-off inter-regional challenge at Stormont, he pulled out the day before citing a lack of form. Not the best way to endear yourself to the Ireland selectors.
The other two absentees from the winter training squad are the injured Andre Botha and Mark Gillespie, who was due to captain North West for the first time against NCU but his decision to play for Ardmore on the day of the first inter-regional challenge excludes him from the international team this season.
Gary Black, the Phoenix and Under 19 pace bowler, who was a late call-up to the winter training squad, fails to make the 25 with his place going to Downpatrick's Paul Tate while Ryan Haire, who did not want to be considered for winter training, is also included.
Donemana pace bowler Johnny Thompson is also named despite dislocating his shoulder in a car crash last week and is unlikely to be fit in time for the 12-team tournament which starts at six venues in the NCU on Friday July 19. The selectors, however, are relying on Ballymena's Adrian McCoubrey proving his fitness before the final squad must be named on July 9 and Peter Gillespie is also in a race against time after pulling a hamstring last week.Ireland Squad