Martin Sloan
Martin Sloan - INTERVIEW IHA

Interview from Irish Hockey Website

What year (date) and age did you make your international debut?

Played for Ireland U18 schools team in 1979 and 1980. Played for Ireland U21 team in Junior World Cup in Paris in July 1979. First senior cap was on 18th June 1982 ( aged 20) at a European Qualifying tournament in Sweden when we beat Sweden 7-0.

What are some of your hockey career highlights?

Cookstown High School: Won McCullough and Burney cup.

Cookstown Hockey Club: Won every senior Irish competition once over a 20 year period playing for the 1st X1. Played on for the 2nds to play with both my two boys. Retired at end of 2009/2010 season. Highlight was beating Banbridge 4-0 in Irish Senior Cup final in 1987 – last final to be played on grass. Highlight was being first Irish Club team to win in Europe – Cookstown won European ‘B’ division tournament in 1988 in Rome beating Italian club side on penalties in final.

Representative: Played for Ulster and Ireland Under 18s for 2 years. Played for 5 years (17-21) for Irish U21 team – highlight was playing in Junior World Cup in Paris in 1979. Played for Ireland Senior team 149 times for 14 years from June 1982 to August 1995. Captain of the team a record 107 times – captain in World Cup and in Europeans gaining highest finish ever at 5th. Played in 4 Europeans – Amsterdam 1983, Moscow 1987, Paris 1991, Dublin 1995. Played in 3 Intercontinental Cups – Barcelona 1985, New Jersey 1989, Poznan 1993. Played in 1 World Cup – Lahore 1990. Played for Great Britain in 2 tournaments (6 caps) in Barcelona and Malaysia.

The Highs:

Aged 17 – had never been outside of UK until I played hockey – went to Paris for Junior World Cup. World Cup in Pakistan – as captain – was on national TV, played in front of 20000 crowd. Played for Great Britain and in the extended squad which went on to win Gold in Seoul. Captaining Ireland to 5th in Europeans in last tournament – Dublin 1995. Became captain on 3rd July 1987 and was captain until I retired in August 1995. In my debut game as captain we beat Belgium 8-1. Captained Ireland for the 100th time in a 4-0 win over Italy in July 1995. Only missed 1 game in the last 10 years playing for Ireland. ( thanks to a leinster player wrecking me in one of many Inter-pro victories – he is now involved with coaching my son !!! ) Named man of the series at Home Countries tournament in Dublin 1987. Highlight was never losing to Leinster in 11 interpro years and captaining Ulster to 7 inter-pro wins.

The Lows:

Missing out on Olympics. Missing out to play in World Cup in England in 1986 by late goal in play off match. Missing out on European semi –final in Moscow in 1987 on goal difference…Picking a sport with no money in it – so had to work !!

Who was the best opponent (individual player) you ever played against? What made them the best?

Best player to play against – I have to pick a centre midfield player and it is – Marc Delissen, Holland. Delissen played 261 international matches , scored 98 goals and participated in three Olympics. He was the player who controlled the game for the Dutch and he also went forward and scored goals. His first touch was so good making it very difficult to win the ball of him.

Please tell us a bit about what you’re doing now – about your life since your international playing days?

I stopped playing hockey for Cookstown Seconds at the end of 2009/10 season as Ian and Stephen were both up on the firsts. Really enjoyed playing with both of them as they started their club career. Once I stopped international hockey I focussed on my career and I now work as Director of Planning, Performance Management and Support Services in Northern Health and Social Care Trust. I am married to Adele , (25th anniversary this year) and have 2 boys – Stephen (20) and Ian (17). I still do some light training to keep the weight off and enjoy walking on the North Coast. I have coached the youth hockey teams in Cookstown but I am now one of those ‘expert’ spectators on the line. I did consider taking up the coaching but I just don’t have the time to commit properly to it.

Hockey has been a huge part of my life. I am lucky that Adele is also into sport and she played for Ulster and Ireland ladies. She won 5 Irish Senior Cup medals. There was a World Cup 1990 reunion – 20 years on. Shows how old I am now. It was great to meet up with my mates and you always remain very close to those you played with.

Do you have any message or advice for the current Men’s Squad?

Enjoy your hockey and have confidence in your own ability and the team. Keep the training intensity very high. Have that inner strength to succeed and go after the dream of playing in the Olympics.

On a special note:

About the players I played with:

Very hard to only pick a few but I must mention Billy McConnell, Stephen Martin, Jimmy Kirkwood and Kenny Morris – it was easy playing in the Irish team with them around you.

I must also mention Cookstown’s Davy Larmour and Mark Burns – they set the standard at school and at the club and set the bar for me to aim at. Davy also gave me a lot of practice taking corners off the line – thanks.

In the last few years I have to mention 2 players who I really enjoyed watching – Stephen Butler and Graham Shaw – they were brilliant and I would have loved to have played with them. Only issue for them is that I would have been centre midfield so they would have had to play elsewhere.

Men's Ulster Premier 2020/21
TEAM P W D L GD Pts        
Cookstown 2 2 0 0 0 6        
Instonians 1 1 0 0 2 3        
Newry 1 1 0 0 1 3        
Mossley 2 1 0 1 0 3        
Kilkeel 0 0 0 0 0 0        
North Down 0 0 0 0 0 0        
Raphoe 0 0 0 0 0 0        
S Antrim 0 0 0 0 0 0        
NICS 1 0 0 1 -1 0        
Harlequins 1 0 0 1 -2 0        
Portadown 1 0 0 1 -2 0        
Queens 1 0 0 1 -4 0        
Ladies' Senior 3 2020/21
Limavady 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Cookstown 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Larne 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Instonians 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Newry 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Donaghadee 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Ballynahinch 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Derg Valley 0 0 0 0 0 0
Parkview 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Men's EYHL2 Pool 3 2020/21
Bandon 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cookstown 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mossley 0 0 0 0 0 0
Portrane 0 0 0 0 0 0