Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brown Announces retirement from Irish Hockey

Irish captain Patrick Brown announced his retirement from the international hockey today after over nine years of competing at the highest level.

He becomes the third retiree from the men's squad following Jason Black and Andy Barbour's decisions to call time on their career in the wake of the Olympic Qualification tournament in New Zealand.
The Inst player made his international debut on 13th June 1998 against Scotland and has since gone on to be one of Ireland's best ever players, breaking the Irish record for caps with 151, 92 of which were as captain.

He said of his retirement: “I have always been motivated by the desire to play in an Olympic Games and it was very disappointing not to win the qualifying tournament in New Zealand in February. Having taken some time to consider my position, I have decided that the time is right for me to step out of international competition and dedicate more time to other areas of my life.”
Irish coach Dave Passmore, meanwhile was quick to pay tribute to his captain: "He has become a legend of the Irish game and my only regret for him was that he did not compete on the Olympic stage as he, and others so richly deserved.
"I speak on behalf of all the athletes and management team in thanking him for his dedication both as player and leader and wish him well in his future as a husband, solicitor and what ever else the future may bring."

The spate of retirements comes at a natural point in the international calendar, with Ireland not in major competition until 2009's Europeans but it will prove a massive task to replace Brown - one of Ireland's greats.

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