Mitch Darling has today announced his retirement from international hockey following more than a decade at the top of the game. Darling earned 183 international caps, the first of which came shortly after his 18th birthday against England in Poland and scored 51 goals for the Green Machine. He has been a Three Rock Rovers man from the start and has been heavily involved in much of the clubs most successful periods. Over the years, Darling has plied his trade amongst the best in the Dutch league with successful stints with clubs such as Rotterdam, Den Bosch and SCHC.
Darling was cognisant to recognise the coaches at all levels who played a role in his successful career “I want to thank the coaches who contributed significantly to my development during the early years from Wesley College and Three Rock Rovers. I’m eternally grateful to the Irish support staff and management, both past and present, who went above and beyond to help us perform on the pitch. As a player I think I really flourished under the tutelage of Paul Revington and Craig Fulton; incredible men and detailed coaches that revolutionised both the game and the players in Ireland”
Mitch Darling has been a constant figure for many of the Green Machine’s most memorable moments over the last several years including a European bronze medal in 2015 and historic Olympics Games and World Cup appearances. “When I got my first cap in 2006 I could never have dreamed reaching the heights we did. I am definitely privileged to have played with some of the best players to ever wear a green shirt. Being involved in such a special era holds some amazing memories and undoubtedly the biggest career defining moment was the Rio Olympics, an experience to be cherished forever”.
Head coach Alexander Cox paid tribute to Darlings’ contribution to the Green Machine “I want to congratulate Mitch on an amazing international career with The Green Machine. He has had an important influence on the successes that the team has enjoyed over the last 10 years. Not only because of his outstanding qualities as a player, but also as a great person in the group, we will miss him. As a new chapter in his life starts, I wish him all the best with his family and professional career”.
Darling concluded by thanking all those who played a role off the pitch “Thanks to everyone who has supported the team over the years, the supporters undoubtedly helped propel the team to where they are today. Thank you to Hockey Ireland and all the sporting bodies who supported us during the years. A huge thank you to my wife Erika, Mum, Dad, my brothers and sister for their unconditional support all along the way.
Finally, I just want to wish both the men’s and women’s teams all the very best for the upcoming qualification for Tokyo 2020”.
Hockey Ireland wants to thank Mitch for all he has done for the Green Machine and wish him every success for the future.