Ireland’s Men are gearing up for the 2022 European Curling Championship in Östersund, Sweden which marks their first appearance in B-Division for a decade. Östersund plays host to both the A and B Division, with international curling returning to the town after the Mixed Doubles and Seniors were staged there in 2018. The Irish gold medal-winning team from Lithuania’s C-Division returns led by skip John Wilson. John is backed up by third Kyle Paradis, second James Russell and lead Craig Whyte. The team will be supported by coach Eoin McCrossan, in their aim to keep Ireland at this level.
The competition consists of 16 teams, split into two groups of 8. The top three teams in each group will proceed to promotion playoffs with a chance to be one of 2 new teams in the 2023 A-Division and at the other end of the standings, the bottom two teams in each group will contest the relegation playoffs to determine the two relegated teams. Ireland are in a group with England, Wales, Lithuania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Finland and Estonia.
John is itching to get going,
“I’m nervously excited, I can’t wait to get going – I’m very happy to return to international competition and feeling good to have the gold-medal winning band back together. Our preparation has been good, with Craig and I taking part in the world mixed and then joined by James from LA and Kyle from Belfast in the build-up. We have been working hard to get ready for championship conditions as well as getting a grilling from Coach Eoin on strategic scenarios – so we feel prepared!”
Ireland last played at this level in 2012 in Karlstad, Sweden and for lead Craig Whyte that was his first international experience,
“I’m excited to be back to try and right the wrongs from 10 years ago! I’m looking forward to playing together again as a team and building on the performance and result from May as well as playing some new teams!”
Although there are new teams lying in wait – Ireland’s first game is against Ukraine in a repeat of May’s C-Division gold medal game. The round-robin portion of the competition runs from Saturday to Thursday with playoffs taking place on Friday and Saturday. You can follow the scores on the WCF website here. You can also keep up to date with the scores and show your support on our social media channels.