A long-term member of the Hockey Wales Women senior national squad, Julie Read (née Whiting) has announced her decision to retire from international hockey After almost 13 years of involvement with national hockey squads in Wales.
Julie made her first junior International appearance aged 15 years old and went on to represent Wales at U16, U18 (captaining at the UK School Games 2012), U21, U23 (captaining the U23/Senior Development side) and Senior level, having made her senior debut at just 17 years old.
Standout appearances from Julie include her representation in the GB U23 team playing at the Futures 2020 against Australia and Holland (being the only Welsh player in the team), and on the back of this, being the first Wales hockey player to have received a Sporting Wales Rising Star Award. She has also represented Wales at both Indoor and Outdoor Europeans, the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as World League/World Series.
Speaking to Hockey Wales about her decision Julie stated:
“It has been an incredibly hard decision to step away from international hockey, as I feel it has been a huge part of my life and identity, but I will have the memories and pride of the times I represented my country playing the sport I love. I have put everything into my training on and off the and I’m proud of the number of times and the different stages I have represented Wales on.
Playing for Wales for nearly 13 years has been a huge honour. I’ve learnt many lessons, experienced both the highs and the lows of international hockey and have life-long memories to fondly look back on over my time in the programme. Thank you to all those who have supported me.”
Women’s Head Coach Kevin Johnson said:
"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Julie for her long-term commitment and contribution to the team and the programme and wish her and her family all the very best for her future plans. Whilst clearly having the skill and ability to make an impact on the pitch with us across many important tournaments, Julie has also shown the resolve to overcome a variety of challenges thrown at her in this time, which demonstrates the resilience needed to sustain an International playing career and she can look back and be incredibly proud of her ability to deal with the ups and downs one can face in this environment."
All involved at Hockey Wales wish Julie the very best in the future.