17 Nov 2015

Katie Glynn ends Black Sticks career

9:42 am on 17 November 2015

The Black Sticks striker Katie Glynn has announced her retirement from international hockey.

Black Sticks striker Katie Glynn

Black Sticks striker Katie Glynn Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Injuries have hit 26 year old Glynn over the last couple of years.

She says it's the hardest decision she has ever had to make, but knows it's the right call as the Black Sticks schedule intensifies ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Debuting in 2009, Glynn scored a remarkable 77 goals throughout her career making her New Zealand's second highest female goal scorer of all time.

Having struggled with both knee and back injuries in the last two years, Glynn and coach Mark Hager were hopeful she would be back playing internationals next year.

"As much as I've been trying to push through and hope things would improve, I'm still really restricted and it has become incredibly hard for me to keep training as I would like. It's been a really hard couple of years, I've found it both mentally and physically exhausting," said Glynn.

Named in the National Squad following the 2015 National Hockey League, Glynn was hoping to make the 2016 Rio Olympics National Squad which is set to be named at the end of this year.

"I was really grateful for the opportunity to be selected in the National Squad, but I have had to be realistic, and as much as I don't want to stop, I know deep down that it's the right thing to do," said Glynn.

Hager says Glynn was an outstanding player who will be well missed both on and off the field.

"She is one of the players that helped create the team that it is now - she drove the culture, was a top goal scorer, was match hardened, always won the 50/50 contest and loved playing the tough games," said Hager.

Glynn had a stellar career competing at all the major global hockey events including the 2014 World Cup, 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, 2012 London Olympics, 2010 World Cup and 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

"It's hard to pick out a highlight, I guess the Olympics - it's always a dream to go to an Olympics and to get that close to a medal made it special.

"The thing I will miss the most will be the team environment, it isn't a professional sport and we do it because we love it and I think that creates a special kind of culture, you are all sharing the journey together.

"I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot of great moments and friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime," said Glynn.

Glynn believes the key driver to the team's success over recent years has been the "faultless commitment and passion" shown by Hager.

"He pushes players and keeps challenging us to the best we can be. Women's hockey in New Zealand is the strongest it has ever been and this is credit to Mark and the work he has put in over the last six years," said Glynn.

Although no longer in the black shirt, Glynn is hoping she will be back playing for her Roskill-Eden Hockey Club and at the 2016 National Hockey League.

A full-time sports manager at Auckland's Diocesan School and coach of its First Eleven, Glynn has signalled her interest in coaching at both a regional and national level in the future.

KATIE GLYNN'S CAREER

Played 134 tests for New Zealand

One of the key strikers in the team, she scored 77 goals for New Zealand, equal to Krystal Forgesson.

Debuted in 2009 against Argentina at Pukekohe

Coach Mark Hager has been her only Black Sticks coach during her international career

Glynn competed at the 2014 World Cup, 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games,

2012 London Olympics, 2010 World Cup and 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Grew up in Auckland and plays for Auckland in the Ford National Hockey League

Started playing hockey at the age of four

Full-time sports manager at Diocesan School

Played age-group cricket, including one game for the Auckland team

Her diagnosis is a bulging disc and bone bruising on her spine

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