Kookaburras goalkeeper Tyler Lovell has announced his retirement from international hockey after eight years of first class performances and dedication to his country and his sport.
Debuting for Australia’s national men’s hockey team against South Korea in 2013, Lovell
made 147 appearances for the Kookaburras, highlighted by a World Cup win in 2014, gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and an inaugural FIH Pro League title in 2019 where he played a starring role in the final.
The 34 year old is also a two-time Champions Trophy winner.
Lovell’s career was not without its setbacks, with being an Olympian the one jewel missing from his hockey resumé. With teams only permitted one goalkeeper at Olympic tournaments, he narrowly missed selection for both the 2016 and 2020 Games.
Despite that disappointment, Lovell is at peace with a career that will see him go down as one of Australia’s best goalkeepers.
“At the start of this year, I started thinking about life beyond Tokyo and what that looked like,” said Lovell.
“Together with my wife Josie, we decided it was the right time to step away.”
“I am pleased with where my career has gone and what I have achieved, and I have come to terms with not going on with the Kookaburras. After we won the silver medal in Tokyo and I missed out that definitely stung a bit, but in the grand scheme of things I don’t have any regrets.”
“It was tough to come to terms with knowing I wouldn’t be playing for the Kookaburras again or being around the guys day to day.”
“What makes it easier is knowing I have a great family, and I’m really looking forward to the next chapter of my life and being around for them more.”
Lovell singled out being part of the Kookaburras’ successful 2014 World Cup team as the highlight of his career.
He produced heroics in the 2016 and 2018 Champions Trophy finals and also enjoyed an outstanding FIH Pro League tournament in 2019, which saw him shortlisted for the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year Award.
“Hopefully, my legacy will be that I stood up when the going was tough and hopefully my record reflects that,” said Lovell.
“I drew confidence out of being there when the guys needed me and that I could perform when it counted.”
“Playing hockey for your country and representing Australia is an amazing feeling…so to be afforded that opportunity has been unbelievable.”
Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch lauded Lovell for his desire to challenge himself to improve and for his character in overcoming setbacks.
“Tyler was identified as a potential international goalkeeper and became a world class goalkeeper in his own right through discipline, focussed training and enjoyment,” said Batch.
“Unfortunately he missed selection in the last two Olympics but showed his character and outstanding qualities as a Kookaburra both on and off pitch despite the disappointment.”
“As an elite athlete there are always setbacks along the way and it is how you manage, overcome and learn from them.”
“Tyler epitomises that quality and trait that you need to have to succeed. He had a real enjoyment of training and competing. It was always a great challenge for him to go out there and prove himself to be an elite goalkeeper and play the best he could.
“In my mind he is every bit as good as anyone else we have had and has played a big role in our success.”
“As well as what he achieved on the pitch, he was able to balance and carve out a business career and he should be very proud of that.”
“He has excellent support from his family and we wish him, Josie and their daughter Alessandra all the best for their future.”
Lovell leaves the Kookaburras but will not be far away. He currently works at Hockey Australia as the Commercial Partnerships Manager and plans to continue playing at local level and on the national scene in the Sultana Bran Hockey One League for the Perth Thundersticks.
“On behalf of the everyone at Hockey Australia, I congratulate Tyler on a wonderful career with the Kookaburras,” said Hockey Australia President Mel Woosnam.
“One of the mantras Tyler proudly lives by is, ‘the standard you walk past is the standard you accept’ and that typifies the approach and the impact he has had on this team.”
“We wish him and his family the best in their future away from the pitch but know he will not be lost to the game.
“His head and his heart are in the right place with an intention to see hockey grow and the sport continue to succeed in Australia.”
Lovell’s retirement follows Kookaburras veteran Matt Swann who retired prior to the Tokyo Olympics due to the birth of his first child.
Tyler Lovell File
DOB: 23 May 1987
Place of Birth: Perth, Western Australia
Playing Number: 24
Kookaburras appearances: 147
Kookaburras Cap Number: 401
Kookaburras Debut: 5 May 2013 v South Korea
- Champions Trophy Winner 2016, 2018
- Commonwealth Games Gold Medal 2018
- World Cup Winner 2014
- World Cup Bronze Medal 2018
- FIH Pro League Champions 2019
- FIH Pro League 2019, 2020
- World Cup 2014, 2018
- Commonwealth Games 2018
- Champions Trophy 2014, 2016, 2018
- World League 2014, 2015, 2017
- Oceania Cup 2013, 2017, 2019