Alford’s Kirkham could retire after Team GB hockey disappointment

Great Britain's Glenn Kirkham during the London Prepares Series Visa International Invitational at the Riverbank Stadium, Olympic Park, East London, 3rd May 2012
Great Britain's Glenn Kirkham during the London Prepares Series Visa International Invitational at the Riverbank Stadium, Olympic Park, East London, 3rd May 2012

THERE was no medal joy for Glenn Kirkham after the Team GB men’s hockey side lost out in their bronze medal playoff against Australia on Saturday.

The Team GB side saw their hopes of gold dashed after a 9-2 thrashing at the hands of the Netherlands on Thursday, but held out hope of a share of the spoils against Australia.

But Kirkham, of Alford, and his team lost 3-1 to the Australians, leaving the 29-year-old to question his Olympic future ahead of Rio de Janeiro 2016.

While Kirkham was in no mood to decide either way on Saturday he accepted that retirement is a real consideration.

“I’ll have plenty of rest time to reflect on it all and then I’ll see where I am after that,” he said.

“Obviously it is the start of another cycle and I am not getting any younger so we will have to see.

Kirkham and co were always going to have a tough task to see of the reigning World Cup champions to get the bronze, not least because of their semi-final performance against the Dutch.

But he insisted there was no hint of a semi-final hangover in their display.

Kirkham and co had turned a three goal deficit into a 3-3 draw against Australia in the group game but goals from Simon Orchard, Jamie Dwyer and Kieran Govers downed them on Saturday.

Iain Lewers got the GB consolation and Kirkham insisted his side could take pride in their performance.

“The bonus coming out of it is that we put in a performance to be proud of,” he added. “And I don’t think we could have perhaps said that about the semi-final.

“It was hard to pick ourselves up, the fact that we didn’t put in a performance that was good enough in the last game both in terms of the way we played and our work rate made it easier coming into this game.

“We knew that it wasn’t just down to us being inferior to the Dutch it was that we had let ourselves down so we had to come out and give ourselves some pride.

“Australia are a top side and we didn’t go in with any illusions that it was going to be easy and in the end their class showed.”

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