Emily Defroand, an ever popular member of the GB women’s squad, has been forced to retire from international hockey aged 26.
England Hockey announced the news on Tuesday and said that Defroand was retiring “for the benefit of her long-term health and wellbeing” after suffering several injuries in recent seasons which kept her out of the team.
Defroand said: “It has been an absolute honour to have represented Great Britain and England over the last four-and-a-half years.
“At the age of 26, this is not a decision that I thought I would have to be making, nor one I have taken lightly, but having pushed my body to the limit, I know this is the right decision.
Defroand made her debut for England in 2017 and GB the following the year. She made a total of 55 international appearances and won three bronze medals with England.
She will now start a job in the communications department at West Ham United FC, having grown up in the area. For such a bubbly character, she is sure to fit in.
GB coach Mark Hager added: “Emily was a player that could read a match and change the momentum of a game by her ability to win possession under pressure and turn the momentum in her favour from her drive to compete in any contest.
“The laughter Emily bought was infectious and I know staff and her team-mates will miss having her around; her ability to bring a group together was valued so much by the staff and players.”
Defroand was forced to pull out of the reckoning for an Olympic berth after a back injury, which first surfaced in January. The Hockey Paper wishes her all the best in her new career.