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Renowned Vantage Black Sticks striker, Nick Wilson, has announced his retirement from international hockey, marking the end of a remarkable career that has left a mark on New Zealand’s proud hockey history.

Wilson earned 181 caps for New Zealand, placing him as the seventh-highest goal scorer in the country’s history with a tally of 78 goals. He represented New Zealand in three Olympic games. “My proudest moment during my career was putting on the black shirt for the very first time and representing New Zealand at the Olympics. Those memories are something I will forever treasure,” he said.

Former Black Sticks coach, Shane McLeod, fondly remembers Wilson’s debut and his evolution as a player. “Nick was a very special athlete. He came into the Black Sticks side at a very young age but already showed a maturity well above his years. I was lucky enough to watch him grow as a player and a person. I have worked with many naturally gifted players but what was special about Nick was not only his skill set but also his constant need to improve.”

McLeod recalled one of his early experiences with Wilson. “At the time Australia were the leading force in Hockey and we were to play them when they were in full flight. It was Nick’s first test match, and unlike every other person that I knew, he was unfazed by the thought of playing them. In fact, my assistant and I watched as this young striker’s first touch of the ball saw him take on and eliminate two of the best fullbacks in the world. We looked at each other at that exact same moment and said ‘that boy can play.’”

In spite of some injuries, Wilson’s determination saw him through, highlighting his resilience and dedication. The talented striker plans to remain involved in hockey, envisioning a future in club hockey and potentially moving into coaching roles.

In his post-retirement plans, besides enjoying his newfound leisure time with his partner, Mattea, and his golden retriever, Willow, Wilson plans to hit the golf course. “I have caught the golfing bug. I plan to play as much golf as I can until I grow old.”

On parting advice for budding athletes, Wilson’s words were clear. “Always give 100% and never give up. If you do those two things, you will always succeed in whatever you do in life.”

Lastly, Wilson extended his gratitude to those who supported him throughout his journey, including his parents, coaches, medical staff, and friends. His final words were ones of gratitude and pride. “As I look back at my time in the black shirt, I am proud of what I achieved as an individual and as a team. As a young kid I set out to be the best I could be, and I gave my everything to the game for over 25 years and only now I realise how much the game gave to me.”

As he steps away from the international stage, Nick Wilson leaves a legacy that stands as a testament to tenacity, talent, and a passion for the game.

  • May 28th, 2023 in
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The post New Zealand: TRIPLE OLYMPIAN RETIRES FROM INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY first appeared on Hockey World News.

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