World Cup silver medalists announce retirements

Deirdre Duke, Anna OFlanagan and Chloe Watkins have announced their retirements from international hockey
Deirdre Duke, Anna OFlanagan and Chloe Watkins have announced their retirements from international hockey [Getty Images]

World Cup silver medalists and Tokyo Olympians Chloe Watkins, Anna O'Flanagan and Deirdre Duke have announced their retirements from international hockey.

The trio were instrumental in the most successful period in the history of Irish women's hockey.

After qualifying for their first World Cup in sixteen years, they went on an incredible run to the final in London in 2018 were they were eventually beaten by the Netherlands.

The following year they helped Ireland qualify for their first ever Olympics in a dramatic shootout win over Canada in Dublin.

Despite the Games being delayed a year, they were all part of the squad that finished tenth in Tokyo.

Watkins made her international debut in July 2010 against Scotland, just a month after completing her Leaving Certificate, and went on to play a total of 242 times for Ireland.

With 89 goals, O'Flanagan is Ireland's all-time leading goalscorer having made her debut in the same game as Watkins. She made 220 internationals appearances.

Duke made her International debut in June 2013 against Scotland and went on to a play a total of 173 times for Ireland.

Ireland goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran
The 28-year-old has been capped 73 times by Ireland [Getty Images]

Meanwhile Ireland goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran will miss the FIH Nations Cup in Spain in June due to injury.

Holly Micklem has been called up to replace her in interim head coach Facu Quiroga's 18-strong squad.

Katie Mullan will continue to captain the side, with Caitlin Sherin and Mikayla Power named as non-travelling reserves.

Ireland have been drawn in Pool A for the tournament alongside Korea, Italy and Spain.

They will first face the hosts on 3 June, then play against Italy on 4 June and Korea on 6 June.

The top two in each pool will make the semi-finals in the competition which counts towards world ranking points.

Before the tournament Ireland will play five warm-up games, three of which will take place in Antwerp.

They will be up against Italy on 17 May, which will be Quiroga's first game in charge after taking over from Sean Dancer, who stepped down after Ireland failed to seal Olympic qualification.

They will also play against Belgium on 18 May and India on 20 May.

The squad will then travel to Spain and will take on both Chile and New Zealand in Terrasa on 29 and 31May.

Ireland squad for Nations Cup

Elizabeth Murphy, Holly Micklem, Sarah McAuley, Roisin Upton, Hannah McLoughlin, Elena Neill, Ellen Curran, Caoimhe Perdue, Michelle Carey, Sarah Hawkshaw, Charlotte Beggs, Christina Hamill, Katie McKee, Niamh Carey, Katie Mullan (captain), Naomi Carroll, Sarah Torrans, Siofra O’Brien.

Non-travelling reserves: Caitlin Sherin, Mikayla Power.