In a poignant yet uplifting show, hosts Richard Stainthorpe and Sarah Juggins are joined by three absolute legends of the game.
We meet international umpire Michelle Joubert, who has 157 senior matches to her name, incorporating three Olympic Games, including the gold medal match in 2016 and the bronze medal match in 2021; plus three World Cup competitions. Joubert made the decision to step away from international umpiring after the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Scott Tupper made his international debut for Canada in 2008 and was captain from 2013 until his retirement after the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. He played for Canada 322 times, including three Olympic Games and two World Cups.
The third guest is one of the most respected coaches in the game. Danny Kerry is best known for leading Great Britain women to gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – a match that Michelle umpired – but prior to that his medal winning record was extraordinary as he won a medal with either GB or England every year from 2009 to 2018. Danny switched to coaching the men’s team in 2018 where he led them to the FIH Hockey Pro League Grand Final in 2019. Danny resigned from his role just two weeks ago.
Much of the show focuses on the careers of the three guests as they have all made the decision to step away from their involvement in the international game after glittering careers. Joubert, who has always been renowned for her fitness and straightforward approach to the game, explains that she wanted to stop umpiring at the top level while she was still at the top of her game.
For Tupper, it was a case of still loving the hockey but no longer being so keen on all the preparations and training. He is only half joking as he says he is eyeing up a new career as an ice-hockey player.
And it is with a note of real sadness that Kerry says he would have liked to have taken Great Britain men to the Paris Olympics in 2024, but 'for the good of the team and for myself, it was time to move on.'
All three guests shared their thoughts and advice on how athletes, coaches and umpires should be preparing for a life after hockey long before their careers in the sport actually came to an end.
With South Africa men entering the FIH Hockey Pro League, the guests also reflected on the impact of the FIH Hockey Pro League on a team's development and the three on-going continental qualifiers in Asia, Africa and PAHF also came into the wider hockey debate.
As the guests reflected back on the influential people who had helped them throughout their careers, it was notable that in each case, the first teacher or coach to draw them into the game got a special mention.
This show is also the last to be co-hosted by Richard Stainthorpe, who is moving to a new role away from the sport. In wrapping up, Juggins said: 'My huge thanks go to Rich Stainthorpe, not only the co-host of this show but the man who probably knows more about international hockey than anyone in the universe. He is also one of the nicest people around the international hockey family.'