William Marshall retires from international hockey
After 177 caps and 19 goals William Marshall has announced his retirement from international hockey. Marshall competed in three Commonwealth Games for Scotland and was part of the EuroHockey Championship II winning team in 2017, scoring in the final.
Greenock Hockey Club is where the journey started for Marshall before moving onto Kelburne and eventually Surbiton in London. He also received excellent support from Winning Students while studying at the University of West of Scotland (UWS).
Marshall said, “I’ve been toying with the thought of retiring for a few months, as my career away from hockey has to become my main focus now. It wouldn’t be fair on myself or the team to try and continue. It’s the right time to move on from international hockey and focus on my career.”
It was in 2006 that Marshall made his Scotland debut when he took to the pitch at the Celtic Cup against Ireland. He added, “I was really nervous and forgot my passport, which made it even worse. But it was an amazing experience and an honour to make my debut for Scotland.”
Marshall highlights players like Ali McGregor, Graeme Moodie, Graham Dunlop, and David Mitchell as being really supportive and helpful in the early days.
“My first cap was amazing and my three Commonwealth Games were all incredible for different reasons. Delhi for the sheer passion for hockey; Glasgow for the home crowd – I’ve never experienced anything like that, I remember being mobbed in George Square just for being a Scottish athlete; and Gold Coast was great for the show they put on and how passionate they are about the sport.
“I’ll never forget my first goal for Scotland – we were 6-0 up in Egypt and I scored a short corner and ran off celebrating by myself! I thought all the boys were following me but when I turned round they were all waiting for me on the half way line!”
Marshall was part of Scotland’s EuroHockey Championship II winning side in 2017, which finally saw the team promoted to the EuroHockey Championships – taking place this summer on 19-24 August in Antwerp.
“The hardest thing about the decision to retire is not being involved in A Division,” Marshall explained, “after all the effort to get there, all the years trying to get out of B Division, to step away now is the hardest thing.”
A 4-0 win over Belarus in the final match of Hockey Series in Lousada was Marshall’s last game in a Scotland shirt. The win saw the Blue Sticks progress to the Hockey Series Finals, which will happen in Le Touquet, France, on 15-23 July.
“Lousada was a good way to end things – it’s nice to finish on a high, and it sets the boys up for the next round.”
Marshall would like to thank all the players, and particular staff in the Scotland men’s squad for their support. He said, “I’m extremely grateful to everyone who helped me and I’d like to thank all the staff for their support. Derek Forsyth has coached me since U16 and he’s been solid throughout my career, taught me a lot, and it’s been a pleasure to be part of his team. Graham Moodie has been awesome and massively influential for me since I first came into the squad – he’s a really talented coach who will go far.
“Dave Reid has been phenomenal, like Derek he’s always coached me down the years – he’s always been there, he’s a really good coach. Emma Traynor was excellent and was a good motivator for me to keep going; and Heather Binnington was such a great support for me when I broke my leg.”
Scotland men’s Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, “I’ve known Willie for a long time and he’s been an excellent servant to Scotland. He’s shown tremendous dedication to the team and programme down the years, and deserves all the accolades he gets on his retirement.
“In particular I have to highlight his determination to return from his broken leg in 2015. He was a big loss for us but to come back from that and play such a big role over the last few years, playing at the highest level, really pays tribute to him. It shows a lot about his character.
“I can still see him running to the corner flag by himself in Egypt after his first goal for Scotland. Incredible. A great Scottish player and I’d like to wish him all the best for the future.”
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