Matthews brings remarkable journey with Ireland to an end
HANNAH Matthews has called time on her international hockey career, bringing to a close a remarkable run with the Ireland squad that saw her pocket a World Cup silver medal in 2018 and compete on the Olympic Games stage in Tokyo this year.
The Terenure woman chalked up a total of 157 caps since making her debut back in 2014, sojourning with the squad in what has been a remarkable seven years for Irish senior women’s international hockey.
Looking back at her run with the Green Army, the Loreto Hockey Club stalwart said “It’s 150 more caps than I thought I would ever get.
“There was a long period where I wasn’t involved, but once I got in, it was a case of grabbing the opportunity and I have enjoyed every second of it.
“100% – it [retiring] was a decision I took a while to make. I didn’t take it lightly and I was honest with [Ireland coach] Sean [Dancer].
“He was brilliant. I could have that honest conversation and it didn’t affect my selection for the Olympics or personal issues.
“It’s lovely to still be wanted, but it is the right time in my life. There’s things I have put on hold and people who have put their lives on hold for me, so it is time to grow up.
“It certainly hasn’t been easy, but we have had great moments and great highlights over the years.
“Stepping away from it, I am just so grateful for every bit of it – the people I have met along the way, the people who have supported me who have been incredible.
“Now it’s time for teaching and enjoying club hockey. I’m really looking forward to this club season and a nice normal life, maybe slowing down a little bit.”
Indeed, international retirement will afford Matthews more time to focus on the club front and maybe adding to a roll of honour that already includes Irish Hockey League and Senior Cup titles with Loreto.