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Emma Smyth is latest to drop curtain on Irish career

Emma Smyth has become the second player to announce her retirement from international hockey in the wake of Ireland's disappointing failure to qualify for the Rio Olympics through the World League 3 tournament in Valencia last month.

The 30-year-old, who won 140 caps after making her debut against England in 2009, has joined her Railway Union team-mate Kate Dillon in hanging up her stick.

"I've had such an amazing six years with this bunch of girls, made some lifelong friendships and have a lot of happy memories," Smyth said.

"We've experienced a lot of highs and lows throughout but I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to do it with.

"I will remember all our unbelievable moments and be proud to say I represented my country for so many years.

"One of my fondest memories was when I received my 100th cap in the Champions Challenge in Glasgow in 2014, when we played South Africa and beat them 2-1 to get to the final."

Smyth's decision could mean a call-up for Ards player Chloe Brown as national coach Graham Shaw attempts to fill the void ahead of the EuroHockey Trophy tournament, which gets under way in Prague on Saturday, July 18.

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