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Irene Van Dyk calls it quits

AAP
Thursday, June 05, 2014

Update: 2:32PM Veteran Silver Ferns goal shoot Irene van Dyk has retired from international netball, believing her form isn't good enough to go to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in seven weeks.

Van Dyk, 41, says she made the "agonising" decision in consultation with her family and believes it's the right thing to do.

The decision comes seven weeks out from the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where the Silver Ferns are the defending champions.

"I needed to be true to myself. I have always said I would step down when I felt the timing was right," van Dyk said on Thursday.

She said the Commonwealth Games and next year's world championship were the most significant events on the international netball calendar.

"And if I can't be better than the best for the Silver Ferns, then it's my time to finish now.

"I have really high expectations of myself, and my match statistics over the past few months in the ANZ Championship are simply not good enough to justify taking my game to the international level.

"I have full confidence in Wai (New Zealand coach Waimarama Taumaunu) and the girls, and there's no doubt in my mind they can win the gold medals."

Van Dyk played 72 games for South Africa after making her debut in 1994 before emigrating to New Zealand with husband Christie and daughter Bianca in 2000.

She is the most capped Silver Fern of all time, amassing 145 appearances in the black dress.

Van Dyk has competed in five netball world championships - two for South Africa and three for the Silver Ferns, including the gold medal-winning team of 2003.

She has also competed at four Commonwealth Games, winning gold twice with New Zealand teams in 2006 and 2010.

Taumaunu says she understands and respects van Dyk's decision.

"Playing at the elite level for 20 years is unheard of in the game of netball, and Irene is one of the truly greats of the international game."

Van Dyk has indicated she is still keen to play in next year's trans-Tasman league. She shifted from Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic to Wellington this season, turning out for the Robyn Broughton-coached Central Pulse.





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