Dual Olympian Teneal Attard announces retirement
4 November 2016
HOCKEY: Dual Olympian Teneal Attard has announced her retirement from the Australian Women’s hockey team after achieving 221 caps over a 12 year international career in the sport.
As a teenager, Teneal was a BMX star competing at a State and National level before her love of hockey took over leading her to get selected in the Queensland State team, the Queensland Scorchers, before making the transition into the Australian women’s hockey team.
Attard made her debut for the Hockeyroos back in 2004 playing her first international against the Netherlands at the Champions Trophy in Argentina, with her final international game on 18 February this year against Great Britain at the Perth Hockey Stadium.
Speaking on her retirement, Attard said: “I've been lucky enough to have an amazing career with the Hockeyroos which started back in 2004. There have been many ups that I will remember forever but also some tough times along the way that definitely made me a better player on the field and a stronger person off. I'm unsure that the time is ever right to call an end to something you love and want nothing more than to be a part of, but I feel like I have given all I can to hockey for now and feel it’s time for me to take on new challenges in life and focus my energy on something else.
“A lot of people have had influence on my career, starting back as a junior in Queensland and all the way through the ranks and I thank them all. I'd like to especially thank Des King - one of the most passionate hockey fanatics out there, his continual support and encouragement has been amazing.
“To all the Hockey Australia staff - coaches, medical and administration included - thank you for putting up with me and getting me through the challenging times. To all my brilliant teammates - many great friendships and memories have been made and I look forward to making many more with you all.
“To my captain and teammate who has been there since day one - Madonna Blyth, thank you for always pushing me, believing in me and leading by example, I couldn't have done it without you! And lastly, to Claire and Ness, thank you both for being there on the roller coaster ride that it has been - your support has been incredible and without you both I wouldn't be half the person I am today.
“A special thank you to the QAS, AIS, HA and Kookaburra for the support they have given me over my career.”
Attard missed the 2009 and 2011 seasons in their entirety battling three anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions, but her desire to succeed and continue playing hockey for Australia spurred her recovery on and she went on to play in the 2012 London Olympic Games, the World League Final in 2013 and the 2014 Champions Trophy.
Hockeyroos interim head coach Jason Duff said: “Teneal has been, in a lot of ways, one of the smarter players in world hockey. Particularly in Australia, she has been capable of playing in several positions, and as a centre half and a defensive midfielder she had the ability to control the game.
“Teneal has unfortunately had an interrupted international career due to several injuries, but I don’t think we should remember her in this way. I think we should remember her as a classy player that had a lot of skill, she could deliver the ball and eliminate as well as anyone, and has been a player who has been a good leader within the group both on and off the field.”
Of her plans post retirement, Teneal says the future is looking bright, with travelling and new work ventures on the cards. “The plans for my future are exciting - I've been fortunate to have great support and opportunities along the way and I've always wanted to do something that gives a little back.
“A lot of new challenges lie ahead for me professionally as well as some fun adventures personally. Some travel plans are in place and I've just opened a new business that focuses on helping people have a healthier, happier life - targeting wellness, rehabilitation and fitness. Bring on the challenge!”
Attard’s outstanding career will be acknowledged at the Hockey Australia Annual Awards Night which takes place in Perth on Monday.
TENEAL ATTARD CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Debut Game: November 7, 2004 Australia 1 – 2 Netherlands
Final Game: February 18, 2016 Australia 2 - 2 Great Britain
2004 – Debut against the Netherlands at the Champions Trophy, one day after Hockeyroos captain Madonna Blyth
2006 – Teneal competes in her first World Cup winning the silver medal
2008 – A member of the Hockeyroos squad for her first Olympic Games in Beijing with the Hockeyroos finishing 5th
2009 – Out for the season due to ACL reconstruction
2010 – Took part in her second World Cup tournament in Argentina, with the result a 5th place finish
2012 – Competes in her second Olympic Games at London 2012 with the Hockeyroos finishing 5th
2013 – Silver at the World League Final in Argentina
2014 – Silver at the Champions Trophy in Argentina