IHA: Mark Raphael has informed the Ireland senior management that he is withdrawing from the national programme with immediate effect.
Raphael citied increased personal and work commitments together with the increased commitment required to the World Cup Qualifier as the primary motives behind his decision.
Raphael made his international debut in 1998 against Wales in Cardiff and went on to win 81 caps and score 10 goals.
After coming through the Irish underage ranks he went on to play in two A divisions European Championships (Padova 1999, Barcelona 2003) and was a key member of the squad which achieved promotion back to Europe's elite last summer in Rome.
“I have retired from international hockey as I am unable to commit fully to the upcoming programme,” Raphael said.
“I feel that the commitment required at this level is something that needs to be kept to the highest level and anything short of this is selling yourself short and letting down your team mates who are putting the effort in.”
“Mark is undoubtedly one of, if not the most skilful player in Ireland,” men’s head coach David Passmore said.
“To be losing a player with his skill set is terribly disappointing, especially as our preparations are really just commencing.
”It further raises the issue for Irish Hockey about addressing the longevity of players. We have to ask them to train like full time athletes or we have no chance of competing, yet they also have full time careers and private lives to deal with.
“As Performance Director I am looking at initiatives to address this but money is always the biggest hurdle.”
For a complete outline of the Ireland men’s training program, visit hockey.ie
Posted 1 hour ago.
Set up in 2001 and organised every two years, the Pahang Hockey Champions Challenge 1 will set the stage for one...
Posted 18 hours ago.
With the women’s Champions Challenge 1 event set to kick off at Glasgow’s National Hockey Centre this week,...
Posted 19 hours ago.
The eight teams competing at the Champions Challenge 1 tournament in Glasgow all have their eye on one prize – a...
Posted 20 hours ago.
Malaysia and Scotland will provide the platform for six days of scintillating hockey action as eight men's and eight...
Posted 1 day ago.
Hockey has a new home in New Zealand's capital city Auckland, thanks to a $2.5 million investment into the National...
Posted 1 day ago.
The opening match between New Zealand and Ireland is just four days away. On Saturday 26 April, the Pahang Hockey...