Games to mark end for hockey star
DECORATED Kookaburras captain Mark Knowles is aiming to bow out of international hockey with a fourth Commonwealth Games gold medal after announcing his retirement.
Knowles, regarded as one of the greatest players of his era, revealed on Friday he would call it quits after the Gold Coast Games in April.
The 33-year-old defender will lead Australia's hunt for a sixth-straight gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, having been part of the past three campaigns.
Rockhampton product Knowles also won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics bronze in Beijing (2008) and London (2012) and was named the FIH World Player of the Year in 2014.
He is one of only six Kookaburras to earned more than 300 international caps.
"I've been able to get absolutely every bit of talent out of what I have,” Knowles said.
"I'm someone who has pride in myself in my ability to work hard, do extra and adapt to the new style and the way the game has grown in the past 15 years.
"If my parents or any of my friends had said to me 20 years ago in Rockhampton that you'd play over 300 games for your country, four Olympics, Commonwealth Games, World Cups, travel the world, play in Europe, play in India, I would've taken it at the drop of a hat.
"You add success to it, being in the number one team in the world for 10 of those 15 years, it's an amazing time to reflect.”
Kookaburras coach Colin Batch was an assistant when Knowles made his debut in 2004 and said he felt "very privileged” to have been involved all the way through his career.
"Mark has been a great player for Australia, he's given us great service and he's been one of the outstanding players in world hockey over that period,” Batch said.
"We've seen his leadership grow from a lead-by-example style to now as a very inspirational leader with not only what he does, but what he says.”