Australian Olympian and former Kookaburra player, Matthew 'Butters' Butturini is quickly settling into Port Macquarie's relaxed pace after moving to the coast this year.
The thirty-three year old field hockey player is famed for winning a bronze medal at the London Summer Olympics in 2012 and a gold medal at the 2010 Men's Hockey World Cup in Delhi.
Butturini was a defender in the Australia men's national field hockey team during its most celebrated years while winning the 2011 Men's Hockey Champions Trophy in New Zealand and Oceania Cup wins in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
He now works as a financial planner and moved to Port Macquarie in January with his partner Cassandra. The pair have a two-year-old son Henry and are expecting another child in December this year.
"Cassandra is originally from Sydney and I'm from Murwillumbah. We have some family close to Port Macquarie and when the opportunity came up to shift from Perth we took it," he said.
"We navigated the Port Macquarie property market and ended up finding a place which we have bought. We'll settle here.
"I think long term I enjoy the finance industry, I like the office and team in Port Macquarie and career-wise that's where I'll be."
Early in his career Butturini was noticed in a Perth national development camp in 2008 and then played for the NSW Waratahs in the Australian Hockey League during 2011.
He was drafted to WA's Fremantle Hockey Club as a grade one player-coach from 2010 until 2019, but has now begun playing for the Camden Haven Redbacks in the Men's Premier League and Port City Hockey Club in the Port Macquarie Hastings Hockey Association.
"There is still some really good young talent here and that will grow over the next few years as those kids get older," he said.
"When I play here I don't try to overplay my hand, I'm not in it to dominate a team by myself.
"My intention is to develop other players around me because I don't have anything to prove by getting the ball and beating ten people".
Butturini has mixed feelings about his three goals and bronze medal from the Summer Olympics 2012. Australia were originally firm favourites to take the tournament and held a 2-1 lead during the semi-final against defending champions Germany in the second half, before the titleholders closed out the win 4-2.
"As a kid my dream was always to play for Australia, but when you get there you want to strive for bigger and better things. I was lucky enough that I went to World Cup, Champions Trophy and the Olympics," he said.
"Being able to experience the Olympics was the pinnacle and I was able to live that dream. At the same time I hadn't lost a major tournament in the lead-up to the Olympics and when we lost the semi-final to Germany it was really hard.
"I hadn't experienced that kind of loss and that feeling of loss puts a little dampener on it, even though getting a bronze medal and being an Olympian is a huge achievement."
Butturini sustained a knee fracture while playing for the Mumbai Magicians in the Hockey India League during 2013. He underwent two micro-fracture surgeries, a high tibial osteotomy and extensive rehabilitation before returning to the national development squad in 2018.
"When the fracture occurred at the end of 2013 initially the prognosis was that it was a six to eight month return but as that progressed and things didn't pan out it became a continuous ordeal for years," he said.
"The injury was an ongoing disappointment because it never healed properly. Having the support of Cassandra and my family was really important and got me through.
"To go from living the dream of playing for Australia and travelling the world at 26 years old, then to have that come crashing down was a pretty hard pill to swallow.
"Luckily throughout my career I had studied because I didn't want to be a 31 year old player with nothing to fall back on. I had the capacity to retire and go back into the workforce with a professional career in finance."
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