(Photo: © FIH / Gordon Morrison)

Hockey Australia would like to officially acknowledge the following retirements from international hockey: Women: Suzie Faulkner, Rachel Imison, Angie Lambert, Wendy Beattie, Melanie Wells. Men: Bevan George, Travis Brooks, Nathan Eglington.

These players have all notified Hockey Australia in writing, making their retirements official.

Other retirements could follow in the coming months, however at this stage these are the only athletes to make their retirements official.

Each player experienced a different journey throughout their careers.

Making her debut in 2002, Suzie Faulkner was considered a real threat for the Hockeyroos in front of goal, scoring 44 international goals from her 105 matches. While she represented Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics, she was not selected in the 2008 Beijing squad which finished 5th at the recent Games.

Hockeyroos coach Frank Murray will no doubt look to the likes of Rachael Lynch, Kobie McGurk and Teneal Attard to cover the retirements of defenders Rachel Imison and Angie Lambert, while Melanie Wells will also need to be replaced from the midfield.

The trio of Imison, Lambert and Wells started their careers together in the late 90s, however only Lambert and Imison were part of the Hockeyroos 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medal campaign. Wells did represent the Hockeyroos alongside Imison and Lambert at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, however both campaigns saw the Hockeyroos finish in 5th place.

Despite playing in the same era as the other Hockeyroo retirees, Wendy Beattie was unable to represent the Hockeyroos at either the 2004 Athens or 2008 Beijing Olympics for various reasons.

After narrowly missing out on selection of the 2004 Athens Olympic team, Beattie took time away from the game in 2006, however returned to the squad in early 2008. Despite being selected in the 2008 Hockeyroos Champions Trophy squad, Beattie was unable to overcome her various injuries and missed out on selection for the 2008 Olympic squad.

Kookaburras Bevan George, Travis Brooks and Nathan Eglington will walk away from international hockey as three of Australia's most successful players, having all participated in the Kookaburras 2004 Athens Olympic gold medal victory.

While George and Brooks went on to also win bronze at the recent 2008 Beijing Olympics, a groin injury only months prior to the Games denied Eglington a second Olympic opportunity.

Eglington's goal scoring ability was missed during the Beijing Olympics, as he was considered a key member to the Kookaburras squad.

Brooks will also walk away from the game as a prolific goal scorer, with his abilities fondly remembered during the 2004 Athens Olympics gold medal match when he scored an equalising goal.

While George never imposed himself as a scoring threat, he was highly regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, and received the honour of captaining the Kookaburras during the 2008 Beijing Olympics campaign.

He was recently nominated for the 2008 WorldHockey Player of the Year award, which will be announced on Friday 28 November.

Hockey Australia would like to thank each player for their contribution to hockey throughout their careers.

Source: Hockey Australia