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Retirements hit SA men’s hockey
- Updated: March 3, 2009
At least six men’s hockey players from the 16 who did duty at the Beijing Olympics have announced their retirement from international competition with immediate effect. Those who are hanging up their sticks include the national captain, Bruce Jacobs.
In Beijing the South Africa’s men’s side finished last of the 12 countries that competed and are clearly going into a rebuilding phase as they focus on blooding younger players in their quest to be a force at London 2012. Next on the agenda is a Tr-Nations series from March 6-14 against Germany and Russia in Bloemfontein.
ÔÇ£Because the game is not professional the players feel they have sacrificed a lot personally,ÔÇØ said coach Gregg Clarke in announcing the news. ÔÇ£They want to spend more time with family and friends and work at their careers. We will have a few new caps but luckily most of them have had some international experience.ÔÇØ
The 33-year-old Jacobs competed at two Olympics’ as well as two World Cups and was a stalwart of the sport. However, he regards the closure of his international career as overdue. “I nearly retired after the Athens Olympics in 2004 but changed my mind because I felt I had still lots to offer the game. But I have had enough hockey now. I’ve just got married and I want to focus on my career. It is nice to end on a high as captain.”