Black Stick announces retirement
04 Apr 2006 08:10
Hockey NZ: Outstanding Black Sticks midfielder Michelle Hollands has announced her retirement from international hockey..
Hollands (nee Turner) was one of only three players remaining in the current New Zealand Women’s side who played at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In addition she played at four Champions Trophy tournaments (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002), two Commonwealth Games (2002, 2006) and one World Cup (2002).
Hollands returned to top level hockey in late 2005. She last played for New Zealand at the 2002 World Cup and then had a two-year break before having a baby.
Her outstanding form for Canterbury in the National Hockey League earned her a recall to the Black Sticks side to play Australia in October. She then went on to play in the Japan series in Christchurch in February this year followed by the Commonwealth Games.
“Michelle has been a solid contributor to the team and has brought real maturity and leadership on and off the field,” Black Sticks Coach Ian Rutledge said.
He said it was unfortunate that Hollands’ personal family commitments could not dovetail in with the heavy demands of the national team.
Hollands has retired to spend more time with her husband Mark and baby Katie who recently turned one.
“I would like to thank my husband Mark for everything he has done. I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without him,” Hollands said.
“I would also like to thank Hockey New Zealand for their support. It was a new experience for Hockey to accommodate a player with a baby and they did a wonderful job.”
Hollands said her husband Mark, a physiotherapist, had recently bought the remainder of the medical practice Active Health in Christchurch, which the couple already part-owned. This was another factor in her retirement decision.
Hollands says she plans to go “cold turkey”, bowing out from all levels of hockey, including provincial.