Hockey Australia today confirms Kookaburras goalkeeper Tristan Clemons has decided to retire from international hockey effective immediately.
Clemons, 30, has decided to step away from the game to pursue professional interests outside of the sport, taking up an opportunity in Chicago, United States, in his chosen field of medical research.
The Bunbury-raised goalkeeper debuted for Australia in 2011 and represented his country 51 times, including in last year’s triumphant World League Final.
He was also part of successful Kookaburras teams at the 2015 and 2017 Oceania Cups.
Clemons said the time was right to hang up the helmet.
“I have been fortunate to have had so many amazing experiences with the Kookaburras and my hockey in general,” Clemons said.
“The ultimate privilege in sport is being able to represent your country and I am just so thankful of all of my coaches, teammates and supporters who have been there to help me make that happen throughout my career.”
Clemons, when not on the hockey field, is a highly regarded young scientist working on developing new treatments for cancer, burns and spinal cord injuries.
“I am excited about the next chapter for my wife and I,” he said.
“The research position in the US is a really great opportunity to work with one of the best teams in the world striving towards new medical advances.
“It’s kind of like working with the Kookaburras but in a science lab not on the hockey pitch!”
Kookaburras coach Colin Batch moved to recognise Clemons’ contribution, labelling him the epitome of a Kookaburras player.
“We need to acknowledge his progress and development during his time with the Kookaburras,” Batch said.
“He’s played second fiddle for a long time behind two very good goalkeepers which has restricted his opportunities.
“He’s given his hockey career everything he could to get the most out of his talent and he epitomises everything we want in a Kookaburra.”
Batch added: “He has long combined his hockey career with his employment and has a great opportunity. We wish him all the best in that endeavour and his future.”
Hockey Australia’s men’s National Selection Panel will identify the player to replace Clemons in the National Senior Men’s Squad and this will be announced in due course.