High Performance Players
In recent years, Badminton Ireland has established a High Performance system with a focus on sustainability. The key to this is ensuring that talented players are identified and developed at all levels from the junior ranks to our Olympic hopefuls.
All players can be categorised in the following squad:
The High Performance Talent Squad
Chloe Magee (25) is one of Ireland’s Double Olympians, having represented Ireland in Both the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and London Olympic Games in 2012. Chloe grew up in Raphoe, Co. Donegal and trained in Raphoe Badminton Club. Chloe is now part of the Irish Elite training group and trains in the National Training Centre in the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin.
Magee has continued to show her potential in the 2013 season. Chloe has continued to improve and along with the mixed results she has had with her brother Sam she has had some excellent singles results. The Irish number one women singles player has had last 16 places in Thailand Grand Prix Gold, Dutch Open Grand Prix, Scottish Open grand Prix and London Grand Prix Gold where she also made quarters of the mixed Doubles event. In the French Open Super Series Magee beat Juan Gu of Singapore who is a world top 20 ranked player. . Chloe is the first Irish Athlete to win matches at two Olympic Games and hopes to further this statistic as she targets the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. Chloe is currently funded by the Irish Sports Council and works closely with the Irish Institute of Sport.
Scott Evans (26) is also a Double Olympian, with appearances at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 under his belt. Scott grew up in Dundrum, Dublin and played out of Terenure Badminton Centre on Whitehall Road.
Scott has had some remarkable results in the recent past, making the quarter final of the European Championships in 2008 and 2010 only narrowly missing out on a bronze medal. The Dublin Native has recorded a number of good wins in 2013 including beating World number 39 Ville Lang of Finland at the Danish Super Series event. Denmark proved to be a successful location for Evans in 2013 as earlier in the year Evans also recorded a quarter final in their International event where he had to withdraw due to injury in his match with Victor Axelsen. Evans has also had some recent good form making the last 16 of the London Grand Prix Gold where he beat former world number 12 Yan Kit Chan of Hong Kong before losing out in a close match up with Singapore’s Derek Wong. Scott is currently funded by the Irish Sports Council and works with the Irish Institute of Sport Team
Sam Magee (24) is a member of the Badminton Ireland Elite system. Sam grew up in Raphoe Co. Donegal and was a member of Raphoe Badminton Club. Sam was one of Ireland’s most successful Junior Badminton players and cemented his name in history when he claimed gold in the European Junior Championships Men’s Doubles in 2009.
Magee has continued to progress up the rankings this season with his partner Chloe Magee as they continue to impress on the European Circuit. Some notable results for Sam and Chloe in the mixed doubles event include a Semi Final of the Belgium Open where they defeated World ranked number 23 pairing of Chris Langridge and Heather Olver of England and making quarter final of the Scottish Grand Prix and London Grand prix Gold event. Sam has also started a new doubles campaign with Jonathan Dolan and has shown why he is a former European Junior Gold medallist where the pair took the 2013 Irish Future Series men’s doubles title in without dropping a set in the entire tournament. Sam currently receives funding from the Irish Sports Council and works closely with the Irish Institute of Sport.
Jonny Dolan (19) is from County Sligo and is a member of Sligo Lawn Tennis Club. He has been a dominant figure in underage badminton throughout his age groups. In the 2011/2012 season, Jonathan had some excellent results in both domestic and international tournaments. Jonathan won the Badminton Europe U19 Bulgarian and Irish International Circuit events. Dolan continued his good run of form into the World Junior Championships where he finished 9/16. These results have moved Jonathan into the Top 10 in the World Junior rankings. Jonny claimed his first International Senior cap this year when he was selected to play in the European Mixed Team Championships in Russia. This year has seen Jonathan Dolan move his training base to the Badminton Ireland National Center Marino Institute of Education where he now lives and trains full time. Dolan who has moved into senior competition has had a number of excellent results on the domestic calendar winning a number of Singles and Doubles Titles including wins in his home province in the 2013 Connacht Open. Dolan has started a new doubles partnership this season with Sam Magee and in their first International tournament the pair took victory on home soil winning the Irish Future Series Mens doubles title. This partnership is one to watch going forward and with Dolan being accepted on the Badminton Europe rising stars project it is an exciting time for the Sligo native going forward.
Alannah Stephenson (17) lives in Lisburn and trains at the Ulster High Performance Centre.
Alannah received her first Senior Irish cap in the 2011/2012 season at the age of 15 while playing at the European Women’s Team Championships held in Holland.
Stephenson has had some promising results so far this season as she is targets qualification for the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Stephenson took the women singles title at the Irish under 19 Open circuit event and was runners up in the womens doubles event. Stephenson has played in a number of Senior events this season and at the Irish Future Series event in Dublin held on October she made the semi-final of the doubles competition before losing out to the eventual winners Louise Hansen and Louise Seiersen of Denmark.
Alannah receives direct athlete funding from Sport Northern Ireland and the Irish Sport's Council.
Rachael Darragh (16) is from Raphoe in Co. Donegal and trains in Raphoe Badminton Club.
The youngest member of the Talent group has had a bright start to the 2013 season with a number of Notable results. In the Irish u19 european circuit event Rachael made the final of the womens singles and won the womens doubles competition with her partner Sara Boyle. Darragh followed this result up with a bronze medal in the singles event at the Uk school games. In her first Senior International of the year Darragh reached the quarter final of the womens singles in the Irish Future series event losing out to eventual winner Lansac of France.