New Zealand striker Gemma McCaw [née Flynn] has decided to call time on her impressive career, following an illustrious career for the Black Sticks.

McCaw was part of the Black Sticks’ team in Beijing in 2008 and also helped New Zealand to back-to-back fourth-place finishes at the London and Rio Games.

After Rio 2016, McCaw took time away from the game. However, after giving birth in December 2018, she made a stunning return to the turf in 2019 at New Zealand’s Ford National Hockey League.

Last year the 30-year-old made a remarkable return to the National Hockey League, and returned to the Black Sticks in February, with an eye on taking part in Tokyo.

In a message to her fans and followers on Instagram, McCaw explained the reasons behind her decision.

“When I came out of retirement to re-join the Black Sticks last year, I was so excited to be back playing and working towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. No one could’ve imagined a global pandemic getting in the way of that dream, but there are things beyond our control. Lockdown taught me many things, but most importantly those seven weeks at home brought into focus just how important family is. So, with that in mind, I’ve made the decision to end my Black Sticks journey here.

“I am so glad I gave it another shot and I’m proud to have done this as a Mum, but I feel it’s time now to focus on our family. I’d like to thank my coach Graham [Shaw] and my teammates for their support as well as my family and friends. A very special mention to my husband [former New Zealand rugby star Richie McCaw] for his unwavering encouragement and being the best Dad to Lottie that we could ever ask for. To my little girl, I love you beyond words, thank you for travelling so well and being my motivation each step of the way. And last but certainly not least, my heart-felt thanks goes to my amazing mum, who gave up a year of her life to support us. This would not have been possible without you. It takes a village, and I’m so grateful for mine #thankyou

McCaw finishes her international career with 254 caps and a hugely impressive 72 goals.

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