HOCKEY GREAT RETIRES
Butturini retires after 89 caps
TWEED Coast’s Matthew Butturini never quite made it back to the big leagues after a serious knee injury hampered him for years.
Now the 31-year-old has announced he’ll put his hockey stick away for good after 89 caps and 18 goals for the Kookaburras.
Butturini debuted for Australia in January 2009 against the Netherlands in WA, before going on to numerous honours, including an Olympic bronze at the 2012 London Games.
He was also part of the side that won the 2010 World Cup, 2009 and 2011 Champions Trophies and the 2009, 2011 and 2013 Oceania Cup.
However, his glory all ended after the 2013 Oceania Cup when a knee injury left Butturini out of the top side.
A comeback was on the cards this year after being selected in the 2018 National Development Squad and pressed his case for a recall after playing for Australia A in the August series against Malaysia.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being back around the Kookaburras group over the past year,” Butturini said.
“It was an environment that I didn’t think I would have the privilege of being in again after my knee injury.”
While Butturini said he was disappointed by not being selected for the top side, he wanted to end his career on his own terms.
“One of the most difficult things about having a long-term injury and being dropped out of the program is not being able to end your career on your own terms and while I didn’t get back to playing for Australia, being able to retire and finish up off my own decision is one that I am thankfully able to do this time around,” Butturini said.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to make but I feel as though now is the right time to finish up, with my career outside of hockey progressing and my wife Cassandra and I expecting our first child in May, other aspects of your life take priority and that’s what has brought about my decision.”
Butturini will retire from the game effectively immediately.
HOCKEY: Matthew Butturini is retiring after a successful hockey career playing for Australia.