Silver Ferns shooter Irene van Dyk announced her retirement from international netball earlier today. The player says she made the “agonising decision” with the help of her family.
“I needed to be true to myself, I have always said I would step down when I felt the timing was right,” she says. “I have really high expectations of myself and my match statistics over the past few months in the ANZ Championship are simply not good enough to justify taking my game to the international level.”
This will mean the celebrated netballer will be ruled out of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games team later this year.
“I have full confidence in [coach] Wai [Taumaunu] and the girls and there’s no doubt in my mind they can win the gold medals,” Irene says. “The Silver Ferns group has so much amazing talent and I know they will do the job!”
Coach Waimarama says that the 41-year-old player’s decision to retire was entirely her own.
“Playing at the elite level for 20 years is unheard of in the game of netball,” Waimarama says. “Irene is one of the truly greats of the international game, she is the most capped player in the world and an incredible role model to all aspiring netballers.”
With 217 tests to her name, Irene played for South Africa for several years in the 1990s, before making her New Zealand debut in 2000.
Amongst her career highlights are two Commonwealth Games gold medals and a World Championship gold medal in 2003.
Irene acknowledges that her career wouldn’t have reached the height it has without the support of her husband Christie and daughter Bianca.
While she may have retired from international netball, Irene is still keen to play in the ANZ Championship next year.
To read more about Irene and her family, click here.