The Scoop Spotlight is still in Ireland for this week’s feature, with Muckross Hockey Club taking the helm. The club is drenched in history, which has clearly formed the foundation to a thriving and busy hockey club who is all about the ‘craic’.
It is clear that Muckross Hockey Club is a club with enjoyment of the journey at its heart, with a focus on the development of all hockey players, from juniors to vets – learning never stops! You can tell that this is a family, not just a club, and the welcome is great as their span of talented athletes that wear the Muckross logo with pride.
Don’t let me go on and on, the club has already spilled the beans about everything that makes this club a special club indeed.
Name: Muckross Hockey Club
Year of Establishment (if known): 1918
Location: Muckross Park College, Marlborough Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Club colours: Green & white
Number of members: Approximately 500 in total between Juniors, Seniors and Vets
Number of teams: 5 Senior women’s teams, 1 Vets team, countless Junior girls teams!
Training times: Senior teams train on Monday nights (7:00PM – 8:30PM for all) and on Thursday nights (7:00PM – 8:30PM for MHC 1s & 2s; 8:15PM – 9:30PM for MHC 3s, 4s & 5s). Junior players train on Sundays from 9:00AM – 3:00PM, depending on age group. Vets don’t have set training sessions, but are welcome to attend the Monday & Thursday training sessions as they like.
Club philosophy: Our main emphasis has always been – and continues to be – on the development of players at every level. From our thriving Junior section introducing girls to the sport of hockey from a young age in an environment built on the key foundations of fun and friendship; to fostering young talent throughout the teenage years; to our five Senior squads competing across the Leinster league spectrum, catering for the elite to the beginner; to our lively Vets section that serves as a retirement home-away-from-home for players who just can’t stay away from the pitch – Muckross is a club for life.
What makes the club unique: The buzz that permeates all aspects of MHC life is very special – proud tradition, community spirit and absolute craic combine to create a sporting space where enduring friendships and lasting memories are made… that’s what we call Muckross Magic!
Awards won: Muckross Hockey Club’s roll-of-honour is one of the most decorated in Irish club hockey with 29 Leinster League titles, 15 Irish Senior Cup triumphs, an unparalleled 29 Leinster Jacqui Potter Cup wins, a bronze medal in European club competition, and a record seven past players inducted into the Irish Hockey Association Hall of Fame. We were also nominated for the prestigious IHA Club of the Year award in 2014.
Highest position in the league: Our MHC 4s squad are currently top of Leinster League Division 8 after an incredible first half of the season, winning all of their matches to date – considering they are freshly promoted to this division, it’s an incredible achievement! MHC 2s squad are also currently top of their league, Leinster Division 3.
Ambition: For our Muckross Hockey Club to reach The Holy Grail of the Irish Hockey League. We came agonisingly close in the playoffs last season – this season, we’re hoping to go one better.
Favourite tour story/away game story: The Magical Mystery Tour to Kilkenny to kick off the 2012/2013 season and introduce our new recruits to the Muckross Magic… there was a highly competitive Scavanger Hunt, some very interesting costumes, and a legendary hostel car park guitar n’ fiddle session where we realised we’re as good at sing-songs as we are at hockey.
Favourite memory: The special day in February 2015 when Muckross Hockey Club secured their return to Leinster Division One, following a 14 year absence…. I don’t think anyone in the club will ever forget the celebrations that followed, it was a long time coming! The culmination of three years of intensely focused momentum, which ushered in a new era for MHC and instilled a hunger and a belief that now permeates everything we do, at all levels.
3 reasons why people should join the club:
We welcome players of all ages and experience – seasoned athletes seeking top-flight action; players on the move and in search of a new club; ex-school players looking to get back into it and rediscover their skills; or beginners keen to take up a new team sport – there’s a place for everyone in MHC!
The club’s social calendar can be at times as demanding as the hockey one – it’s the perfect club for people who love playing sport in a friendly and inclusive environment, and getting as much out of it off the pitch as on it.
Everything we do is as a club, and not as individual teams – from training, to volunteering, to umpiring, to fundraising, to socialising – we’re all in it together. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the 1sts or the 5ths – if there’s a big game of high-stakes hockey, the club will be out in force on the sideline to support you!
Anything extra the club offers:
A very colourful history! Sport, by its very nature, is filled with both exhilarating highs and crushing lows – and throughout Muckross Hockey Club’s century in action, we’ve pretty much experienced them all. Recently, women’s sports podcast Off The Bench made a podcast documentary feature on this dear ol’ club of ours… ‘WHEN WE WERE QUEENS’ focusses on a key era during the 1980s & 1990s when Muckross absolutely dominated Irish club hockey, with all of the biggest names in the game lining out in green n’ white; to a slow and painful fall-from-grace in the early-2000s as the club’s first XI were relegated from Division One for the first time ever, and the decade of instability that followed where they sank as low as Division Four; and into the new era – rebuilding from the ground up, instilling a hunger and laying the groundwork for the club to once again dine at the top table of provincial hockey.
You can listen to the documentary HERE