Posted on: April 30, 2015
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Australian hockey great Ford retires

By Supriyo Das

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Australian hockey great Ford retires

Melbourne, April 30 (IANS) Olympian Russell Ford on Thursday announced his retirement from international hockey after 158 appearances for Australia in a decade-long career.

The Olympic bronze medallist, 31, scored 72 times for Australia, including against the Netherlands in Australia's 2-1 victory in the Champions Trophy final on home turf here in 2012.

Since making his debut as a 22-year-old in a 4-1 win over India in June 2006 under then coach Barry Dancer, Ford has gone on to represent Australia at the Olympics, World Cup, four Champions Trophies, two Oceania Cups, and the World League semifinal and final tournaments.

"I just believe the time is right to call it a day. I have spent 10 years as a part of the Kookaburras and over the past months I have had time to refresh and make my decision with a clear mind," said Ford.

"To play my first game was a privilege and a dream come true and to be a part of such a successful programme for this period of time is something I am very proud of. Growing up as a young boy, playing for Australia was something I always dreamed of doing and it has even exceeded my expectations."

Ford was part of Australia's bronze medal-winning Olympic campaign of 2012 -- scoring four goals in London -- and a member of the World Cup team in 2006 that won silver. Among his four Champions Trophy campaigns, in which he won two golds, a silver and a bronze, success on his home turf ranks highly amongst in his career.

"Even though the result could have been better, the London Olympics is a real highlight. The whole Olympic experience is something I won't forget. Playing in the Champions Trophy at home in Melbourne in front of my friends and family and being able to win that final in extra time is another experience I'll never forget," he added.

This season, Ford played for the Kalinga Lancers in the Hockey India League (HIL).

Tags: Australia

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