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No one said international hockey was easy.

Just ask Graham Shaw, the Irish coach who had tried to get a match with world No 1 Holland for the last three years prior to last month's World Cup final.

On Monday, the world's top goalkeeper Maddie Hinch announced that she will be putting her international helmet aside and take a break from England and Great Britain duties.

In another era, when players held jobs to supplement their careers on the field and nations played fewer matches, the England No.1's decision may have put an end to her future international hopes altogether.

But world hockey is becoming a different beast these days.

As the sports' chiefs increasingly look for ways to entice a wider audience share and, in turn, find ways of earning a bigger slice of potential TV revenue, it is the players who are being asked for extra effort.

As the domestic scene opens its season across Europe, there is calm before the choppy waters of the Hockey Pro League, a tournament which The Hockey Paper hopes is a huge success and one that brings a new audience to the sport.

Yet underneath, challenges remain and that is the theme of our latest column.

While the sport continues to yield great stories - Japan women's recent successes being one - The Hockey Paper will continue to bring you the coverage behind the scenes as the FIH's new competition gets ready to push back.

Keep joining us and keep spreading the word.

The Hockey Paper team

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Best of Hockey Social


What The Hockey Paper team has been reading in newspapers across the globe:

  • After ending hockey career, Sardar Singh eyes professional golf (Times of India)
  • Ireland's Katie Mullan: 20 Questions on Health and Fitness (Irish News)
  • India unveil team jersey for men's World Cup (Economist Times)
  • Young Hockeyroo heads to Youth Olympics (Women's Game)
  • Chris Todd obituary: umpire at six World Cups (The Times, £)
Read The Hockey Paper latest
Pro League pitfalls?

As the sports’ chiefs look for ways to entice a wider audience share, it is the players who are being asked for extra effort.

ireland's month to savour

It’s been over a month since Ireland returned home from the Women’s World Cup. Here's what they've been up to.

'unexplained phenomenon'

Belgium’s top clubs were struck down by crop circle circle style markings on their hockey pitches.

Boris Johnson in happier times. Best caption to

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