By: Alan Good On: January 26, 2009 In: Features Comments: 1

Veteran Irish international midfielder Mark Black was today hailed as a role model to aspiring players after he announced his retirement from international hockey.

The 29-year-old Cork Harlequins stalwart amassed 113 caps, scoring three times, in ten years in the green jersey, giving him and sibling Jason the distinction of being the only brothers to each chalk up more than a century of caps.

Black’s departure makes him the fifth player – alongside brother Jason, Cookstown’s Andy Barbour and Instonians pair Mark Irwin and Paddy Brown – to call time on his international career in the past 12 months.

Black

Mark Black, seen here captaining Ireland during one of his final appearances in the green shirt against Argentina last October, has departed the international scene after winning 113 caps. Picture: Adrian Boehm

“I have had to make the decision to pull out of the international hockey scene primarily due to work commitments,  I couldn’t juggle both anymore so I have made the difficult decision to retire,” he said.

He paid tribute to the coaching staff he worked under, insisting they brought Irish hockey on “leaps and bounds”, and the gesture was reciprocated by David Passmore and Steven Hiles.

Passmore, who coached Black for six years at club and international level, said he will be a loss to the Irish side.

“Not only was Mark a consistent performer, he has always been immensely committed and his experience would have proved vital at this time of transition,” said Passmore. “He was a role model to aspiring players both on and off the pitch.”

Irish manager Hiles was another to laud Black’s commitment to the Irish cause: “Mark has worn the green shirt in the Irish midfield with distinction for a decade, and has been a fantastic competitor and team mate to all who had the privilege to play with him.

“He will be remembered for his uncompromising approach and elite professional standards which he set at training and during matches. Nothing epitomised Mark’s dedication more than returning from a potentially international career-ending cruciate ligament injury in 2003 after which he returned to the squad to play on for several years after.”

Black represented Ireland at every age-grade, and was part of the U21 side which competed in the European A division in 2000, playing every minute of the tournament in the Madrid heat.

He will now focus exclusively on his club hockey, and has little time to dwell on the decision as Quins face a season-defining couple of weeks in the Irish Hockey League and Irish Senior Cup, starting with Saturday’s do-or-die IHL clash with Annadale.

1 Comments:

    • pat dawson
    • January 29, 2009

    HI ALL,JUST TO LET YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR I H L MATCHES IN QUINNS THIS WEEK END SAT 31JAN
    1.00 QUINS V ANNADALE MEN
    3.00 QUINS V UCD WOMEN
    ADM 10 E FOR 1 OR BOTH GAMES STUDENTS 5E U 14 FOC
    LIVE MUSIC AT PITCH WOULD YOU BELIEVE
    HOT DRINKS AND FOOD AT PITCH SIDE
    BAR OPENS FROM 12.00 DRINKS VERY CHEAP
    DINNER WITH THE COMPETING TEAMS IN CLUB HOUSE AT 6.00 15EUROS IF YOU WANT A GOOD MEAL
    LIVE BAND STARTS AT 8 NO ADM WOULD YOU BELIEVE NOT LIKE TOWN
    ALL HOCKEY FAMILY AND FRIEND VERY WELCOME TO FARMERS CROSS ALL DAY AND MOST OF THE NIGHT
    HOPE YOU CAN COME ALONG TO SEE FOUR OF IRELANDS BEST TEAMS

Leave reply:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *