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Three senior players retire from Black Sticks Men
07 Oct 2008 12:36

Hockey NZ wishes to officially advise that Paul Woolford, Gareth Brooks and Bevan Hari have retired from the Black Sticks Men’s team.

Bevan Hari (33) has amassed an amazing 215 test caps for the Black Sticks since debuting against Malaysia in 1997. He is a formidable and fiery striker and has scored more than 50 goals. His career includes three Commonwealth Games – 1998 in KL, 2002 silver medal in Manchester and 2006 in Melbourne. He also played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and 2004 Athens Olympics.

Paul Woolford (31) has been the cornerstone of the Black Sticks defence since debuting against Australia in 1999 He has now played 133 tests for the Black Sticks. Paul has played in two World Cups (2002 and 2006), two Olympics (2004 and 2008) and two Commonwealth Games (2002 and 2006). His performance in goal for the Black Sticks in Beijing was outstanding – he was easily one of the best goal-keepers in the tournament.

Gareth Brooks at 29 is the youngest of the three to retire from the international game. He debuted against Belgium in 2002 and has since played 109 times for the Black Sticks including two Olympics (2004 and 2008), the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2006 World Cup. Brooks is a tireless worker up front for the Black Sticks, who was also one of the stand-out performers in Beijing. He retires to pursue his accounting career with BDO Spicers in Wellington.

It is sad that they will no longer be involved at the highest level as all three have contributed successfully to the Black Sticks over many years. Hockey at this level now requires players to commit to at least two years in the lead-up to an Olympic Games or World Cup – a commitment, which becomes increasingly difficult as players also try to manage their careers and study.

Hockey NZ would like to thank all three players for the great memories and superb service they have given to the game and the Black Sticks team and wishes them all the very best with the next stage in their lives.

Source: Hockey New Zealand

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