Although McAleese had actually recommended that maybe the Tokyo Olympic Games would be his last competition, he has actually verified completion of his global profession after revealing his retirement to the group on Monday following their go back to New Zealand from Tokyo.
Blessed with extraordinary vision and speed, McAleese has actually been a pillar of the Black Sticks Men’s group for over 15 years, making 320 caps – the 3rd many of all time behind fellow legends Phil Burrows and Ryan Archibald.
McAleese has actually been assessing what it has actually suggested to bet the Vantage Black Sticks throughout the years stating, “I can’t put into words what it meant to play for New Zealand, but I cherished every time I wore the Black Shirt”.
He stated he was grateful whenever he got to march onto the grass, acknowledging this in his own method by composing ‘EYLG’ – ‘Enjoy Your Last Game’ on his wrist for every single match he played.
McAleese is likewise pleased of everyone who has actually assisted him along his journey or sent him a message of support, “I have met some amazing people through Hockey all over the world and made lifelong friends.”
Current Blacks Sticks Men’s Assistant Coach and Selector Dean Couzins, who integrated with McAleese for over 100 Tests as a gamer, commemorated his veteran colleague, “It was always such a pleasure to firstly play alongside Shea and then what I’d describe as ‘partner with him’ as a coach. He has always given everything for his country and for the VBSM, it is said often but to me he is the epitome of the ‘team man’”.
Of McAleese’s team-first mindset, Couzins highlighted “that he has played in just about every position during his career and trained at length as a back-up GK. He has developed into a leader and role model to so many players that have played for the Black Sticks Men”
Black Sticks Men’s Head Coach Darren Smith included “Shea played under Kevin Towns, Shane McLeod, Colin Batch and more recently under me. Each of these coaches will have a story about Shea and all of them will echo the quality that this man brought to the Black Sticks.
“When Shea started in the black jersey a long time ago, I was a player myself and he immediately struck me as a man who was determined to be not only an international player but one that was amongst our very best. His accomplishments are simply outstanding, but what we appreciated most was the fabric of the man who is what we want from our Black Sticks”.
A credit to his durability, McAleese represented New Zealand at 4 Olympic Games, 4 Commonwealth Games and 4 FIH World Cups, making Bronze and Silver Commonwealth medals in 2010 and 2018. Alongside a global profession that covered 16 years, McAleese created an outstanding domestic résumé for Canterbury and the Central Falcons in addition to a number of effective stints in Europe for club sides Hamburg, HGC and Braxgata.
As for the future, McAleese stays coy regarding whether he will end up for his house area of Hawkes Bay at this year’s Ford National Hockey Championship however is anticipating life after International Hockey, “I’m looking forward to getting home and spending regular time with my wife and little girl. I will need to train for something, what that looks like I’m not sure, maybe a marathon or something, but I’m still very keen to stay involved in hockey and give back to the sport which has given me so much!”