Sunday, June 23, 2024

Matthew Swann retires as decorated Kookaburra

Matthew Swann was hailed as a Kookaburra “dynamo” after he announced his international hockey retirement following a decorated 13-year career.

After debuting in 2009, double World Cup winner Swann finishes with 204 caps and had planned to retire after Tokyo 2020 and a third Olympic campaign.

However Swann’s wife Roos is due to give birth to their first child on Aug 8, the day of the Olympic Closing Ceremony.

With athletes required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival back to Australia, Swann has put family first and trained with the Kookaburras squad for the final time on Wednesday ahead of the Kookaburras departing for a four-match series against New Zealand.

“This was a decision that was made over the course of 4-5 months,” said Swann. “With Roos and I having our first child, we were hoping that quarantining would change or maybe the situation and state of Covid globally wouldn’t be as dire as it is at the moment.

“It is sad but I will be cheering the boys on and thinking about being there, but at the end of the day I have made a decision that I think is the right one for my family.

Kookaburras coach Colin Batch paid tribute to Swann’s tenacity in a distinguished career.

“I know this has been a really difficult decision for Swanny because he would have loved to have finished with an Olympics but I know the decision he has made is the right one,” said Batch.

“Swanny is a real dynamo. You only have to watch him for five minutes to know that. He is well respected and well loved by the group.

“He goes at 100 per cent all the time and being from Mackay, Swanny has shown that you can make it from anywhere.

“He has been a great example of perseverance and where it can take you.”

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