|European Championships: Northern Ireland, July 2002|
Hendrick looking forward to Irish return
17 July 2002
Barry Greene, BBC Radio Ulster's cricket summariser for Summer Sportsound, spoke with Mike Hendrick prior to the start of the Championships.
When Ireland take to the field against Scotland in their opening game of the 2002 European Championships at Wallace Park on Friday, they will come face to face with a former favourite in ex-Irish coach Mike Hendrick (left).
Hendrick, who became IrelandŐs first full-time national coach in 1995 will be in charge of the Scottish national side that travels to the province on Thursday and the former English test bowler is looking forward to renewing some old acquaintances.
"I am very much looking forward to returning to Ireland. I met a great deal of lovely people in my time there as coach and hope to catch up with them when we travel there for the European championships."
As Irish coach, Hendrick took the national side to within one match of qualifying for the World Cup in the ICC tournament in Kuala Lumpar in 1997, and this time round has his sights set on great things for the Scottish national side, since taking over as national youth team coach and as bowling coach for the senior side in April 2000.
"Our Under-19Ős won the European tournament staged in England last weekend, with a seven-wicket victory over the Irish. I hope our senior side can emulate their success against Ireland and firmly believe that we are in with a good shout of winning the competition."
As well as looking forward to ScotlandŐs clash with Ireland at Lisburn, Hendrick is all too aware of the threat posed by Holland, who will be hoping to land the crown for the third time in succession.
"HollandŐs form of late suggests that they will definitely be the favourites going into the tournament. They qualified in impressive style when winning the ICC trophy in Toronto last year and are definitely the team to look out for" added Hendrick.
Scotland will be without 16 year-old prodigy Moneeb Iqbal, who was voted 'Man of the Tournament' at the European Under 19 Championships. Iqbal had been named in the senior panel but picked up a niggling back injury and will not travel with the Scottish party who are due to arrive here on Thursday.