Having made his debut for Ireland in 2005 against Belgium, Magee since received 295 caps for Ireland before officially deciding to retire from International Hockey. With over 60 goals scored for Ireland, and a self-described career high of scoring against Germany in the Olympics in Rio 2016, Magee informed team-mates and management of his decision late last week.
Men’s Head Coach, Mark Tumilty, who has also worked with Eugene for a number of years with Banbridge Hockey Club, described Eugene as “a fantastic servant to Irish Hockey, [having] played a key role in the success of the team over the last decade. Eugene will rightly be regarded as one of the best to have worn the green shirt.
An exceptional hockey player, team-mate and person. It has been a pleasure to work with Eugene at club and more recently at international level and I wish him and his family all the best with his retirement from international hockey.”
Magee retires as Irish Hockey’s most capped Men’s player. He was an integral part of Ireland Men’s historic return to competing in the Olympics in 2016, as well as their return to the World Cup last year having failed to reach that level since 1990. He scored twice in the Olympic Qualifier sudden death shootout in Canada last year, as well as scoring in a famous 4-2 win over England at the European Championships back in 2015.
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“After much consideration, I have decided to retire from international hockey,” said Eugene, “I have enjoyed 15 years as part of the Irish Men’s hockey team and it has been my privilege to represent my country among so many talented players.
To be able to play hockey with your friends is one thing but to compete on an international scale takes a huge amount of work from a lot of people and to them I am truly grateful. To all the coaches, players, physiotherapists, doctors, psychologists, physiologists, nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, managers, hockey Ireland background staff, equipment sponsors, financial sponsors, employers, home hosters and the wider hockey family, I would like to say huge thank you.
I would also like to publicly acknowledge my support network at home, particularly my parents and my wife Aoibhne, without whom I would not have enjoyed the career I have had.
Through many years there have been ups and downs but overall, I have loved the experience. International hockey has been a huge part of my life and although it will feel strange to retire, I feel very privileged to have gained all the experiences I have had and to have played my part for the team. I now look forward to exciting times ahead with a young family and watching the incredible talent in this team develop.
It has been an honour to wear the Irish shirt.”
Eugene’s advice to young hockey players over the years has been “Play with freedom, hard work and a smile and the rest will take care of itself.”