Cullen and Storry announce international retirements

Olympic bronze medallists Crista Cullen and Beth Storry have announced their retirements from international hockey.

Penalty corner specialist Cullen, 27, appeared at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, where she was Great Britain's joint top scorer with four goals, and made 171 international appearances.

Cullen, who will move to Kenya to take a new marketing job, said her decision followed much deliberation and there are few more decorated British hockey players, with her Olympic bronze matched by the same medals at the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

"I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who played their part in my international career, no matter how big or small," she said.

"Together as a united squad we were able to be a part of something amazing, of which I am very proud and will remember fondly as I move forward in my new challenges."

Goalkeeper Storry, 34, was also a two-time Olympian and has been widely acknowledged as one of the sport's top stoppers, with a nomination for the 2010 World All Star team.

"The past three years have been, without question, the best three of my life," she said.

"If you had to ask me what my perfect job would be, then it would be playing hockey and being on the pitch or in the gym with my friends.

"To describe the programme and what it means to be part of it is impossible and something that you can't understand unless you have been part of it."

In addition, triple Olympian Ben Hawes, double Olympian Mark Pearn and Ken Forbes have announced their retirements from the very top level of men's game.

“Each of these athletes has in their own ways contributed massively to the national teams. The commitment they have each shown is testimony to their characters," said England Hockey performance director Danny Kerry, who guided the women's team to their third place finish at last year's Olympics.

"We are very grateful for all they have given to the national teams and hockey in this country. I would personally like to wish them well with their future directions in life and I hope they will retain their links with us and the sport.”

© Sportsbeat 2013