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Glass full of memories as she ends glittering career

 

New chapter: Pamela Glass, who is retiring from senior hockey, with son Ollie
New chapter: Pamela Glass, who is retiring from senior hockey, with son Ollie

By John Flack

Pamela Glass has announced her retirement from first-team hockey after a trophy-laden career with club and country spanning a quarter of a century.

The Pegasus and former Ireland defender hung up her boots in a blaze of glory with two typically impressive displays last weekend when the club completed an unprecedented EY Champions Trophy and EY Irish Hockey League title double.

Now 39, she made her Pegasus debut at the tender age of 14 and went on to win every trophy on offer, completing the clean sweep at Banbridge on Sunday.

Her list of achievements makes hugely impressive reading with, in addition to her weekend swansong, seven all-Ireland titles under the old format, six Irish Senior Cup medals, 13 Ulster Shield successes, 12 domestic league triumphs and numerous interprovincial crowns at Under-21 and senior level.

Glass also excelled on the wider stage having played club hockey in Europe on eight occasions, winning two gold medals in the process, and represented Ireland 52 times.

She quit the international arena at the age of just 22 after playing at the World Cup in Perth, Australia, 17 years ago.

Her retirement marks the end of an era on that front as she now becomes the last player from the class of 2002 to call time on her first team hockey career.

Glass explained: "I had been in the Irish squad for five years and the commitment required was huge so, although it might have seemed a young age to quit international hockey, I had no regrets.

"I had taken a year out of university to play for Ireland and was planning at the time to start up my own business, so something had to give, and having played at a World Cup and in two European Championships, I certainly had a good innings at international level."

After the trip to Australia, Glass concentrated all her efforts on her beloved Pegasus, having joined them at the age of 13 and gone on to have a stellar career with the club.

She added: "There have been so many highlights, and playing in my first Europeans and scoring my first Pegasus goal at the age of 14 were just two fond memories.

"The most satisfying achievement was on Sunday, having previously come in 2012 when I won an Irish Senior Cup and all-Ireland league double playing alongside some of my best mates in Arlene Boyles, Sharon Moffett, Nadine Graham, Claire McMahon and Suzanne Beaney."

Glass admitted she had toyed with the idea of retirement several times in recent years but always discovered a motivational factor to continue playing.

She explained: "What kept me going was not being satisfied with how the previous season ended and then training hard during the summer and staying fit in order to get better.

"Then when one of my best friends, Shirley McCay, arrived at the club, that was another reason to stay for two more seasons, and playing alongside her and Stephanie Thompson in the Pegasus defence has been a privilege."

However, Glass won't be lost to the game entirely as she will play down the club as she prepares to continue a new career at veterans' level.

"I also want to play with my mates, and Suzanne and Nadine are on Pegasus II, so I plan to join them next season," she said.

There's no senior hockey at the weekend but four Plate finals are being staged at Stormont.

SATURDAY: Irish Senior Cup final (Grange Road): Loreto v Cork Harlequins (1.30pm)

Intermediate Plate final (Stormont): Omagh II v PSNI (1pm)

Junior Plate final (Stormont): Lisnagarvey IV v Saintfield II (11am)

Minor Plate final (Stormont): Ulster Elks IV v Mossley IV (3.30pm)

Qualifying Plate final (Stormont): Lurgan II v Owls (1.30pm)

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