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Ella Gunson Calls Time on International Career

Vantage Black Sticks (VBS) stalwart Ella Gunson is calling time on her prestigious international career announcing her retirement after 10* years with the team. 

A defensive powerhouse with superb vision, Gunson will go down as one of the country’s finest ever hockey players. A double Olympian, competing at London and Tokyo, Gunson also won medals at two Commonwealth Games, a Silver in Delhi and Gold in the Gold Coast. She represented New Zealand a staggering 232 times on the world stage, a credit to her contribution and importance to the VBS.

 Reflecting on what it has meant to play for the VBS, Gunson says, “my career has been a 10 year roller coaster. But I truly loved, and will always treasure, my time in the team. It was challenging, competitive, rewarding, and so much fun. 

 “Playing for the Black Sticks gave me so much. I am grateful to have felt that immense pride of representing my country and for the lifelong friends I have gained.” 

Current Head Coach Graham Shaw, who has coached Gunson since 2018, remarks that “her infectious personality will be a huge loss to the VBS environment, Ella is an outstanding person who has worn the black dress with great pride throughout her career. 

“Ella’s ability to dig deep and put her body on the line has been an inspiration to all her teammates as well as the countless fans who have had the pleasure of watching her play.” 

Alongside a fantastic international career, Gunson has been an influential figure in Northland Hockey playing at many different levels and inspiring a new generation of Northland hockey players. 

Gunson is looking forward to this new chapter in her life and the challenges that lie ahead.  

“I will miss playing and I will miss the girls. But I’m so excited to settle into life in the glorious North, and putting all my energy and focus into my Police career, and the opportunity to play more golf!  

“A massive thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way and a special mention to the ever loyal and supportive Northland crew.” 

*Gunson debuted for New Zealand in 2009 but withdrew from the side in 2013/2014 to take up a hockey scholarship at Boston University

  • February 24th, 2022 in
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