By Hannah Blackwell
Julie Read had admitted her decision to retire from international hockey was a tough one to make.
The 28-year-old has decided to bring to an end her 13-year Test career, although she will continue to play for Beeston in the top-tier England Hockey League.
“It has been incredibly hard,” said Read about her decision to stop representing her country.
“I feel it has been a huge part of my life and identity.
“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 [pitch] 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.”
Wales hockey player Julie Read has retired from international duty after 13 years.
The 28-year-old made her senior Wales debut aged 17 after an impressive junior career.#BBCHockey
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) February 6, 2023
Read made her first junior international appearance aged 15 and went on to represent Wales at U16, U18, U21, U23, and senior level, having made her senior debut at just 17.
Wales women’s head coach Kevin Johnson praised Read, saying: “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.
“She can look back and be incredibly proud of her ability to deal with the ups and downs one can face in this environment.”