Dream for Olympian Butturini

Matthew Butturini of Australia fights for the ball against Thorton McDade and Wade Paton of South Africa during the Men’s Hockey on Day 3 of the London Olympics.
Matthew Butturini of Australia fights for the ball against Thorton McDade and Wade Paton of South Africa during the Men’s Hockey on Day 3 of the London Olympics.

ALTHOUGH scoring two goals in his first two Olympic games for the Kookaburras, Matthew Butturini's former coach said the young hockey played looked far better in the second hit-out against Spain.

David Reading coached Mr Butturini during his time in micky through under-12.

"He really impressed me with his game last night (Wednesday)," Mr Reading said.

"I thought he was in the top three players on the field."

Mr Reading said he thought it was a much better performance than in the opener against South Africa.

"It was his first Olympic appearance so I think he might have been a little nervious," he said.

Mr Reading knows Mr Butturini's determination all too well.

"I remember once we were coming back from Bathurst, it was a school boys tournament," he said.

"Matthew said in the car that he would be playing for Australia one day and he was 11 years old then."

Mr Reading said it was a good example of how someone can make it to the top without having to leave the area.

"Most yound players leave when they are 14 or 15. Matthew was playing in Burringbar until he was 18," he said.

"He is a great example of someone who can stick with something and fulfil their dreams."

Mr Butturini scored in both the opening game against South Africa, which the Kookaburras took down 6-0 and in the match against Spain that Australia won 5-0.

Mr Reading said the Kookaburra could fill most positions on the field.

"He can play in any line, the front line or the back line," Mr Reading said.

"The difference is when they (the team) decide to move forward."

Since leaving Burringbar he went on to study in Sydney before joining the Fremantle Hockey Club in Western Australia.

Last night Butturini suffered the Kookaburras' first taste of disappointment at the Games.

The previously highflying Australians had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Argentina after leading 2-nil at half time.

The Argentinians scored from a penalty corner to level the scores with just three minutes remaining in the match.

Topics:  hockey kookaburras london olympics matthew butturini

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