Two Irish stars announced their retirement from International Hockey. Jenny McDonough and Mark Black took the difficult decision not to play for the Irish national team anymore.
Jenny McDonough’s decision comes after accruing eight years at the top of her game. McDonough who has amassed 117 caps first stepped up to senior level against
Commenting on her decision to retire, McDonough said “After much consideration I have made the difficult decision to retire from International hockey. Unfortunately I am unable to give my full commitment to the build up to the EuroHockey Nations Championship in
”I would like to thank the National Coach Gene Muller; Gene has been an inspiring coach, I have learnt a lot from him and I am only sorry that my time playing under him was so short, I am confident that the team will be extremely successful under his direction. I would also like to thank our previous coach Riet Kuper for giving me the opportunity to play for
Despite taking a step back it was clear that Jenny will still be a regular face around internationals supporting her former team mates. “I would like to wish the girls every success for the future, there is fantastic talent in the squad and I am certain that they are capable of achieving much success and I will be supporting them every step of the way.”
McDonough who was known for her pace on the pitch and attacking style of play will no doubt be missed by Coach Muller who commented “Jenny has been an asset to the national team over the past few years and I am sad to see her step down. She has always been a dedicated and professional international player. Her attitude was exemplary and she is truly an example to other players. She will be missed in our team. I wish her all the best for her life outside of the national team and know that she will continue to be instrumental in the future.”
Manager Sally Ann Fanagan was also keen to pay tribute to McDonough’s international hockey career “Jenny will be missed by all the girls in the squad as she was a great presence and positive influence both on and off the field'
Although she won’t be competing for
Black, 29 years, moved through the ranks competing at every under age Irish level, including the U21 team which competed in the A division in Madrid in 2000, where he played every single minute of the tournament at centre midfield in the searing heat, testament to the dedication and character that Black always displayed on the field. Commenting on his retirement it was obvious that this was a difficult choice for the midfielder to make “I have had to make the decision to pull out of the international hockey scene primarily due to work commitments, I couldn’t juggle both anymore so I have made the difficult decision to retire.”
“I would also like to express my thanks in particular to David Passmore, Steven Hiles, Craig Fulton and Sinead Murphy. They have brought Irish Hockey on leaps and bounds and I would like to wish Paul Revington and all the lads the best of luck and hopefully they can take it to the next step of making the World Cup and Olympics” he continued.
David Passmore who coached Black both at club and international level over a six year period was keen to pay him tribute “Mark will be a loss to the team. Not only was Mark a consistent performer he has always been immensely committed and his experience would have proved vital at this time of transition, he was a role model to aspiring players both on and off the pitch. I wish Mark all the best for his future”.
Commenting on the news of his retirement was Manager Steven Hiles 'Mark has worn the green shirt in the Irish midfield with distinction for a decade and has been a fantastic competitor and team mate to all who had the privilege to play with him. He will be remembered for his uncompromising approach and elite professional standards which he set at training and during matches. Nothing epitomised Mark's dedication more than returning from a potentially international career ending cruciate ligament injury in 2003 after which he returned to the squad to play on for several years after. Together with his brother Jason and his parents who have supported the team all over the world they will be sadly missed.”
Mark, brother of ex international Jason who retired early last year, also helped distinguish himself and his brother when he reached his 100th cap against
Despite stepping off the International stage, Mark will continue to play for his club Cork Harlequins. The Irish Hockey Association would also like to take this opportunity to express their thanks to Mark for his commitment to Irish Hockey and would like to wish him well for the future.
Source: Irish Hockey Association
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