Whitelock: Too early to talk about swansongs

KAYLA WHITELOCK
Last updated 05:00 28/06/2014
Kayla Whitelock
Photosport
SKIPPER: As expected, Kayla Whitelock will lead the NZ women's hockey team at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

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OPINION: As the Commonwealth Games draw nearer, I'm being asked more and more if it will be my swansong.

If, after 219 tests, plus hopefully six more in Glasgow, I'll be hanging up my stick and Black Sticks skirt and calling it quits.

It's no secret that my husband, George, is heading to Japan to play with the Panasonic Wild Knights soon and I'm going with him.

That will mean I miss the Champions Trophy in Argentina and maybe a home series before.

But at this stage I'm not sure what I'm going to decide after six months in Japan.

I might find I enjoy life away from hockey, doing more study and looking at other options or I might just miss hockey and the girls so much and want to come back.

The 2016 Olympics are a big deal, especially after we did so well in London, only narrowly missing out on a medal.

That's two years away and in hockey terms that's a lot of training and a lot of matches.

So I'm not really sure what I'm going to do. At the moment, I'm just looking forward to a change and a break and spending time with George. Our commitments and schedules mean we haven't spent much time together since we got married this year.

As for Japan, I'm going to carry on studying while I'm there. I've done a degree but I'm studying a financial management course online and I don't think I'll play hockey while I'm there.

I'm looking forward to learning about the culture and maybe learning some Japanese.

Before that, of course, we have the Commonwealth Games. I'll enjoy a break a lot more if we've given the Games a really good crack first.

Our team was named this week and it was goalkeeper Bianca Russell and Michaela Curtis who were the unlucky ones.

Bianca misses out because this tournament's rules say we don't have to take two goalies like we do to some tournaments.

With an emphasis on speed, the coaches decided it was best to carry the extra field player.

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