HOCKEY veteran Andy Gleghorne has more reason than most to be excited about the Hockey World Cup which gets underway in India next week...
The Antrim Hockey Club stalwart and coach has been a central figure in the game’s continued growth in the town - and it seems that his boundless enthusiasm is infectious!
For it inspired his sons Mark and Paul to take up hockey too, and they have proved to be rather good at it.
Mark played 83 times for Ireland before upping sticks and moving to England.
But he had no intention of giving up his stellar playing career - to the relief of the England selectors.
He has now played 102 times for England and 48 times for Great Britain.
Younger brother Paul has also enjoyed a distinguished international career.
To date he has accumulated no fewer than 214 caps for Ireland.
So, the Gleghorne family will gather together to enjoy the gathering of the world’s finest players in Bhubaneswar. Right? Wrong!
The good news is that the two local lads who cut their teeth playing for Antrim have made the cut and will be enjoying some winter sun in India.
The bad news is that they will be playing for different teams.
Worse still, those teams are scheduled to meet head on!
Both England and Ireland have been drawn in the same section, along with China and always dangerous Australia.
The Ozzies are the world’s top ranked team, but every game between England and Ireland is played like it is the final!
The sides are scheduled to meet on Friday, December 7.
On paper at least England have the upper hand as they are ranked seventh in the world.
Ireland are lagging a few places behind them at tenth.
Both may have a Gleghorne in their ranks, but expect no brotherly love when that first whistle blows!
Antrim Hockey Club have wished both their precociously talented young proteges well.
“They have been fine sporting ambassadors for Antrim on the world stage and we wish them both well in the World Cup,” said a spokesman.
“It is very unusual for siblings to meet in a tournament like this, but it will certainly add a bit of spice to proceedings!”
Too much spice, perhaps, for their dad.
He is remaining tight-lipped about which colours he will be pulling on next week.
One thing’s for certain, though. He may be conflicted, but there will not be a prouder man watching the big game unfold.
If local fans want to cheer on the local heroes, the matches are being televised by BT Sport.