Eugene speaks to BHC about the upcoming EHL adventure in Belgium

What you all wanted to know, the verdict of world star Eugene Magee on Bann and the Dragons at the EHL, his future and more!!Click into this link for more information.

What was your reaction upon hearing that Bann were crowned IHL champions back in May? How did you find out, did big Euge send you the deadly text about it? Or was Paddy tweeting like a champion?!

Extremely proud of the lads, big achievement but well deserved after the work they’ve been putting in. I was a little gutted that they did it this year when I wasnt playing but we’ll hopefully do it again when I am! We had just won the final of the Belgian league that day but straight after the game I was on the phone to my Dad who took me through the shoot-outs…nerve racking!!!

The Dragons narrowly missed out in the KO16 stage of the EHL last season, what are the clubs aims for this season both domestically and on the European stage?

Well obviously we’re going to try our best to win both league and EHL but we face some tough opposition on the european stage and the domestic league is getting closer and closer between the top teams.

The countdown is on to EHL 2011 in Belgium. A large contingent will be travelling from Banbridge, what are your expectations of Banbridge in the tournament?

I think they’ll progress to the next round. Montrouge will not be a walk over by any means but I’d say Bann could beat them. They’ll need to be on their game against Hamburg who are very tough opposition but they’ll be playing with a weaker team than last year. Carlos Nevado has moved to SCHC in Holland and Moritz Furste who is their key player is just coming back from a serious knee injury and may not be fit so who knows, Bann could end up with a couple of exceptional results!

Any particular advice you feel you could give to the Bann players in preparation for the EHL, having played in two previous campaigns?

Well I think that there may be some fear about playing against so called “big” teams but having played against Hamburg in last years round one, we went into it as underdogs and came out as winners so it can all happen! Bann need to want to win and not be intimidated. If they have that fight in them which I think they do, they will go far. Important not to underestimate Montrouge either who will want to win just as bad. Bann need to concentrate on this game first and not get focused solely on Hamburg.

Imagine the draw for K016, Banbridge v Dragons!! How would it feel facing your Bann mates and more importantly your younger brother Owen?

It would be very exciting though I’d find it difficult to play against Bann. Obviously I’d always give 100% with the club I play for but at the same time I know where my home club is!!

On the international scale, one more crack at qualifying for the Olympics in the new year. Surely Ireland now have to stand up and show the world what they can do?

Hopefully we will! We have improved a lot over the last few years and we showed this in winning the champions challenge 2, a five nations tournament (where Australia and Korea were playing against us) and we finished 5th in the Europeans in Monchengladbach which is our highest ever placing. We surprsied a few teams over the summer and hopefully we’ll surprise a few more and get through these olympic qualifiers in the new year. 

Eugene, your now into your third season with the Dragons, any word of you coming back to the Bann?!