Black Sticks midfielder Lloyd Stephenson (102 caps) has announced his retirement from the national team, ending a successful career spanning nine years.

Stephenson (27), debuted for New Zealand at age 19, in 2001 and had the satisfaction recently of reaching the coveted 100 cap milestone playing for his country during the recent Indian series in Auckland and Wellington.

National Coach Shane McLeod recognized Stephenson’s contributions: “Lloyd has always been consistent in his performances and has added something each time he has come into the team. Off the field, he has also always brought a positive attitude to the group.”

Stephenson has thought “long and hard” about his decision but believes it is the right one. “I’ve been around for a long time. My plan from here is to seek a career in property finance and valuation in which I am qualified to do,” he says.

Stephenson’s career highlights are winning the World Cup Qualifier in China 2006, participating at the World Cup the same year, and winning the Olympic Qualifier at North Harbour in 2007.

“Playing for New Zealand has been the best experience in my life to date and the current squad has been a pleasure to be involved with. Their opportunity to succeed in the future is the best of any NZ team I have played for” he says.

Stephenson will continue to play in the National Hockey League for Midlands. The long-time North Harbour stalwart represented the region between 2001 and 2006 before transferring to Midlands in 2007.

Source: Hockey New Zealand