Irish International Cathy McKean has announced her decision to retire from the international arena after nine years playing at the highest level. McKean who amassed an impressive 130 caps throughout her Irish career was well known for her passion, pace and determination in the attacking zones.
McKean first pulled on the green jersey in June 2000 against fellow Celts Scotland and before long she was playing a key role in the Irish set up, securing her 50th cap against the USA in Argentina in 2006 and just two year’s later she became a centurion at the 2008 Olympic Qualifiers in Victoria when she lined out against Canada; McKean marked both these occasions in style by netting a goal in each. McKean has played a role in some of her country’s most important tournaments, a highlight of which was the 2005 European Nations Championship in front of her home crowd in Dublin and most recently in what was to be her last international tournament, the 2009 Europeans in Amsterdam in which Ireland finished in fifth position.
When McKean announced her decision we asked her to describe her experience as an International Hockey Athlete and if the commitment was worth it, McKean, 30, spoke with passion “The experience has given me moments of heart bursting pride, stomach tingling excitement, and crushing disappointment” “But yes it has absolutely been worth it. I have no regrets, I loved it.”
Coach Gene Muller, who has coached with McKean for the last three years, was keen to reflect on her decision to retire 'Cathy has been a powerful presence on and off the field for
Sally Ann Fanagan, Irish Manager, was also keen to pay tribute to the forward’s international career “Cathy has been one of the outstanding forwards for her club, province and country for more than a decade. She has also been a great mentor to young forwards coming through the ranks over all that time. Her experience and unique talents will be hugely missed at international level'
Cathy will not retire her hockey stick entirely and will continue to play her hockey with top Leinster side Loreto as they endeavour to defend their ESB Irish Hockey League title this season, although it sounds like she will still be keeping an eye on her former team-mates progress “Irish hockey has been a fantastic experience for me and I would like to thank the Coaches, Supporters, our Sponsors ESB, the Irish Sports Council, OCI and Sport NI and especially my team mates over the last ten years. Although I am sad to be leaving it all behind I have no regrets. The future is bright for Irish hockey and I look forward to supporting the girls in green from the sidelines”
All at the Irish Hockey Association would also like to take this opportunity to wish Cathy the best and to thank her for her unquestionable commitment over the years as an international athlete.
Source: Irish Hockey Association
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