Hudson retiring ends era

12 March 2009

Australia’s most capped female hockey player, Nikki Hudson, announced her retirement from the sport Thursday at the State Hockey Centre, Brisbane.

Following recurring hamstring injuries which have plagued her over the past couple of years, Hudson stated that she had fulfilled every goal she aspired to on the hockey field and believed now was the right time to announce her retirement from the sport.

“I feel the timing is right, as I have achieved all I ever wanted on the hockey field. I have been very fortunate to have played at three Olympics, which is the pinnacle for any hockey player,” said Hudson.

“Injuries I have been carrying for the past couple of years are causing me grief, and now I think I’m ready for life after hockey,” she said.

The announcement was first made public to her team mates in the dressing room following the OAMPS Queensland Scorchers game against Western Australia in Perth on Saturday night.

Although the thought of a fourth Olympic Games (London 2012) sat in the back of her mind, Hudson’s body was telling her it time to move on from the sport she has played at the elite open level for 16 years.

“I have made some wonderful friendships through the sport of hockey and played under some great coaches. I will miss the sport that has been such a big piece of my life for the past twenty six years,” Hudson stated.

Hudson has decided not to play on with the OAMPS Queensland Scorchers for the remainder of this year’s Australian Hockey League, but hopes to play club hockey on the Gold Coast later this year.

Making her debut for the Hockeyroos as a seventeen-year-old, Hudson has played 303 international matches and scored 99 goals as an Australian striker.

The highlight of Hudson's career was competing for the Gold Medal winning Hockeyroos at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, where she was awarded top scorer at the tournament with six goals.

Hudson who played for the OAMPS Queensland Scorchers from 1993-2008 also represented Australia at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy Tournaments in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

Hockey Australia and Hockey Queensland congratulates her on a stellar hockey career and extends sincere gratitude for her contribution to the sport of hockey.

Fact File: 

DOB: 6 July 1976
Position: Striker Hockeyroos
Shirt Number: 32
International Matches: 303
International Goals: 99
Australian Debut: 1993
Olympic Games: 2008 Beijing 5th, 2004 Athens 5th, 2000 Sydney 1st
World Cup: 2006 Madrid 2nd, 2002 Perth 4th, 1998 Utrecht 1st
Champions Trophy: 2008 Monchengladbach 5th, 2006 Amsterdam 5th, 2005 Canberra 2nd, 2004 Rosario 4th, 2002 Macau 4th, 2001 Amsterdam 3rd, 2000 Amsterdam 3rd, 1999 Brisbane 1st, 1997 Berlin 1st, 1995 Mar Del Plata 1st
Commonwealth Games: 2006 Melbourne 1st, 2002 Manchester 3rd, 1998 Kuala Lumpur 1st
Junior World Cup: 1997 Korea 2nd
International/Domestic awards: Captain of the World Eleven Team in 2006, Young Australian Sportsperson of the year

Laine Clark
AAP

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