Jason Black retires

Cork Harlequins’ Jason Black has retired from international hockey after nine years with the senior squad. He made his against Switzerland and went on to win a further 122 caps.

His decision to retire comes in the wake of Ireland missing out on an Olympic spot with the highlights of Black’s career include finishing 1st in the European Nations Qualifying Tournament in 2002 in front of a home crowd at UCD and winning Gold at the European Nations Trophy in Rome 2005.

He explained his reasons for retiring, saying “like every other member of the squad my ambition was to qualify for the Olympics. It was bitterly disappointing to lose out on a place in the final due to goal difference but this alone shows how far the teams and Irish hockey aspirations have increased over the last few years.

“We are no longer happy to make up the numbers in tournaments and are now truly in a position to qualify for major sporting events like the Olympics and World Cups.

“With this part of the Irish programme over and no more major tournaments until the European Championships in over a year’s time it is vital for Irish hockey to bleed some of the talented development squad players.

“I would like to thank my wife and family for all their support over the years. My wife particularly has had to put up with me leaving for tournaments including two weeks after she gave birth to our first child and never complained that the responsibility for bringing up our two kids has mainly fallen on her so far. My retirement will now give me a chance to enjoy time with my kids.”

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