Hockey Australia today congratulates Kookaburras midfielder Matthew Butturini who has announced his retirement from international hockey effective immediately.
The 31-year-old, who hails from Murwillumbah in New South Wales’ Tweed Coast, hangs up the boots 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 winning an Olympic bronze medal at the 2012 London Games.
He was also part of the side that won the 2010 World Cup, the 2009 and 2011 Champions Trophies and the 2009, 2011 and 2013 Oceania Cup.
After representing Australia at the 2013 Oceania Cup, Butturini was hampered by a significant knee injury in recent years before striving to break back into the Kookaburras side in 2018.
Butturini earned selection in the 2018 National Development Squad and played for Australia A in the August series against Malaysia, pressing his case for a recall which ultimately never eventuated.
“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 and am grateful for the opportunity provided to me by coaches Colin Batch, Rob Hammond and Anthony Potter.
“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 whilst 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.
“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.
“I’d like to thank all the people who have been involved in my career over the years and have allowed me to chase and fulfill a dream that I had for as long as I can remember.
“In particular my parents John and Janelle, who, without them none of this would have been a possibility, my brothers Nicholas and Andrew and to my beautiful wife Cassandra who has been with me for the entire journey and supported me along the way.”
Kookaburras coach Colin Batch paid tribute to Butturini for his determination to fight back from his knee injury along with his outstanding contribution prior to his cruel setback.
“We would like to acknowledge the significant contribution Matthew has made to the National Men’s High Performance Program,” Batch said.
“As a member of the Kookaburras team, Matthew was part of a successful era which included winning an Olympic bronze medal and World Cup gold medal.
“Matthew was an excellent and skilful player but a significant knee injury cruelly stalled his progress.
“In this context, he showed great commitment this year, overcoming the injury, being part of our National Development Squad and playing some good Hockey and we commend him on that.
“We would like to wish Matthew all the very best for the future with wife Cassandra.”