McClelland finds the net on Ireland duty

Zach McClelland and Scott Beattie - both from Portadown - enjoying duty with Ireland under 18s in Spain.
Zach McClelland and Scott Beattie - both from Portadown - enjoying duty with Ireland under 18s in Spain.
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McClelland grabbed a goal for Ireland under 18s during the 9-1 defeat of Russia to wrap up the 10-day trip.

Ireland’s results have confirmed a place in the top tier of European hockey following wins against Scotland, England and Russia.

McClelland was joined in the panel by Kyle Marshall, a former Markethill High School student. Scott Beattie, originally from Portadown, was part of the technical coaching team.

Ireland lost to the champions, Germany, by 7-3 plus suffered a 5-1 reverse to overall runners-up Holland.

“It was a brilliant experience and great opportunity,” said McClelland. “The weather conditions started off quite hot but proved mixed overall so that did not really have too much impact.

“We had lots of downtime between games but managing that and getting plenty of rest all come into it when away on international duty.

“Learning how to cope with everything was also part of the experience, as well as what we picked up from the coaching and games.

“It was nice to get a goal for Ireland and my first start also came in that final match with Russia.

“Overall, we had a set line-up but rotated players every seven minutes or so as part of the gameplan.

“Everyone got plenty of playing time and our games took place in front of some large crowds.”

McClelland returned home on Sunday and was back in club colours this week for pre-season training.

“I can definitely take some lessons from that trip and use them for the season ahead,” he said. “It was straight back into training with Portadown but I am now looking forward to pushing on.”