Long-serving New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon has announced her retirement from international football despite the lure of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.
After a Football Fern career spanning 10 years, Bindon - currently fifth on the list of all-time New Zealand representatives with 77 international caps - says the call of family was simply too strong.
“It was extremely tough to make the decision,” Bindon said. "My mind would play football forever but the body is also a part of that. The plan was to go Rio [2016 Olympic Games] but I’m moving on with the next chapter and it’s time for me to be with my young family.”
It is the end of an era for the Football Ferns with Bindon donning the No1 jersey in every match New Zealand have played at the past two FIFA Women’s World Cup and Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments.
Although now 40, Bindon had shown few signs of slowing down and, despite being the oldest player at London 2012, she made an important contribution between the posts as New Zealand reached the knockout stage of a senior global tournament for the first time.
With such longevity in the national team shirt, Bindon is well placed to chart the progression of a Football Ferns side which has risen to 16th in the world.
“The biggest change is that girls have become professional,” Bindon said. “The attitude adjustment into the vision of what the Ferns have become has been huge. The athletes are now reaping the rewards of being a professional. I’m so proud to be a part of it, not just as an individual but it’s been a great team effort. You dream about being involved in things like what I’ve experienced.”
New Zealand coach Tony Readings highlighted the wonderful contribution of a player who has been a key cog in the national team set up.
“Jenny has played a big role in the progression of our team and she has also raised the level of women’s goalkeeping in New Zealand,” said Readings. "Her legacy includes not only her achievements on the pitch but also setting a higher standard for future New Zealand goalkeepers to follow.”
New Zealand will be aiming to reach their third successive FIFA Women’s World Cup when Oceania’s qualifying competition takes place in New Zealand between 10 and 20 September, with the winner going on to represent the continent at Canada 2015.