Wales defender Natalie Blyth has recently announced that she has made the tough decision to remove herself from the International programme and from this year’s European squad selection.
This has been an extremely difficult decision for Natalie who thrives in the International test arena. She will also be stepping down from Swansea Spartans of whom she has captained for the past 8 years under this break. The reason for her exit is to focus solely on her career, where she is hoping to pursue an opportunity further afield.
Speaking on the decision Natalie said: “It has been my toughest life decision to date and one that I have not made lightly. I have had the ultimate honour of playing for Wales and representing the dragon at this Senior level with such a talented and ever progressing squad. I wish the squad and management team all the luck in the world in the challenges ahead starting with this summer’s Home Europeans. I will maintain contact with Hockey Wales, as this door is not closed, merely ajar temporarily”
Head coach Kevin Johnson added: “I was delighted when Natalie made a decision to re-enter the International set up last year and she has made a significant contribution in this time, both on and off the pitch. I am naturally disappointed that work pressures has meant she has had to re-think her commitment to us but I am fully understanding and supportive of the position she finds herself in with her career. It stands as a reminder of the sacrifices that all our players make when trying to juggle and balance their career aspirations with that of being an International athlete. This would not have been an easy decision for Natalie but it speaks volumes of her character that she didn’t want to let her team mates down or the culture we are creating by giving any less than her full commitment”