Talented Black Stick midfielder Stacey Carr, aged 27, has announced her retirement from the national team. After taking a break after the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games, Carr told national coach Mark Hager that now feels like the right time to put down her stick and focus on her career.
“I was pretty certain that I wanted to retire after the Commonwealth Games. However, I thought it was important that I took a break to make sure that I was making the right decision,” says Carr, who is an administrator and marketing coordinator for CLAAS Harvest Centre Canterbury in Ashburton.
Carr will continue to play club hockey for High School Old Boys and at some point in the future may look to play for Canterbury in the National Hockey League, but for now she is happy taking a break from playing the sport at a top level.
“I will really miss the international games and playing at that competitive level. Also, the team environment and the people, you get to know everyone so well and I will miss being part of that,” says Carr, who has 127 international test caps to her name.
Having watched the recent Champions Trophy games on television, Carr says it is great to see the team continue to improve and she will be following them closely and keeping in touch with players as they build up to the 2012 London Olympics.
Hager says that Carr will be very much missed by everyone in the team and it was her tough, hard nosed approach to the game that she will be remembered for.
“She is a gritty, determined player who is skilful in the midfield and hard to get the ball past. With the Black Sticks being a young side she added a lot of experience, and was especially supportive of the younger members in the team,” says Hager.
The low point of Carr’s career was rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament in 2007, building back up to full strength only to rupture it again in late 2009. However, competing in her first Olympics in Athens in 2004 and bringing home a silver medal from last year’s Commonwealth Games are the memories she will cherish when she looks back on her time playing the sport.
Carr says she learnt a lot from Hager and is confident that the team will only develop further with the knowledge and experience that he shares with the team. The other coach that Carr was eager to recognise was Canterbury based Black Sticks assistant coach Chris Leslie who has supported her from the early days.
“I have much to thank Chris for - he coached me from when I first made the team through till the end of last year and he was especially supportive when I was injured and trying to get back to full strength for the Commonwealth Games,” says Carr.
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