Lizzie Holden (née Colvin) has confirmed her retirement from international hockey following a history-making, 13-year career that brought World Cup silver, an Olympic appearance and 206 caps.
The 31-year-old steps away having made her debut as a teenager at the 2008 Celtic Cup and finishing off at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I always felt the Olympics was going to be my last dance,” she said of her decision to step back. “I had gone back and forth in my head for a long time but I think it is the right time for me to step away.
“We were so intense as a team for so long and we would spend weeks together on tour. I’m just sad that I don’t get to see my friends every day now.”
She says that hard graft in training at Armagh gave her the determination to make the grade with the Green Army.
“Then when I moved down to Dublin, everyone in Loreto was so kind and supportive of me and allowed my confidence to grow as a player. Then when I moved back up North to play for Belfast Harlequins, they made me feel so welcome and as one of their own.
“All three of clubs have been such important influences to me at different stages of my career.
“At Armagh, we used to train so hard and you’d never question it. I think back on those days; after you’ve done a full hour and a half session on the pitch and you would go straight on to the football pitch and do shuttles back in forth, usually in the rain! I think that’s where I developed my hard work ethic and a really, really gritty determination.”
Fast forward to her final tilt playing in green and she looks back and knows “that I’ve been part of such a special group of people who have faced so many challenges of the years.”