Ireland hockey women are on the verge of creating history at the Olympic qualifiers

Katie Mullan will captain Ireland at the qualifier games this weekend (PA Images)
7:49am, Sat 02 Nov 2019
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Ireland hockey women are looking to create history at the qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Games, says captain Katie Mullan. 

They will face Canada in a two-legged tie at Donnybrook in Ireland this weekend.

Mullan said ahead of the qualifiers: "To be the first Irish female team to qualify for the Olympics in any sport, you want to create history like that.

"We've seen the influence our success at the World Cup last year has had on the sport and beyond that on female sport in Ireland."

Crowds of 6,000 people are set to attend for both the Saturday and Sunday games. A temporary Polytan Carpet surface has been laid at the home of Leinster rugby, specially for the occasion.

Ireland missed out on the 2016 Rio Games but managed to reach the World Cup final last year. 

"We want to back up what we did last summer and one thing that we all felt came out of the World Cup was we felt we had an extra player on the pitch because of the crowd and the sea of green around the stadium.

"We know we're going to have that this weekend with the number of people who have bought tickets to come and watch us.

"We don't see that as an extra added pressure - we see that as a calming thing, something that gives us an extra boost."