By: Bryan Giese
We recently sat down with last year’s Milwaukee Torrent Player of the Year, Mark Hutchinson. A fan favorite, “Hutch” was a constant force on the field. His agility and ability to know where teammates are on the pitch at all times makes him a constant threat for any defense playing against the Torrent. Recently we sat down with Hutchinson to discuss last season, this season and everything in between.
Congratulations on being voted Milwaukee Torrent Player of the year last year. That must mean quite a bit to you.
Mark Hutchinson: “Thank you very much. It was a great honor to get the Player of the Year award, especially because it was voted on by the fans. Our fantastic fan base is rapidly growing and I hope I can build on my performance this season.”
Looking back on 2017, the team didn’t have the kinds of results they were expecting after winning the conference championship in 2016. Yet personally winning the player of the year award, how do you think of last season?
MH: “Overall, we were disappointed with our performance last season. I am very competitive and driven by helping the team win games. It’s always nice to receive personal accolades, but I would trade that in for a few more wins in a heartbeat. Soccer is a team game, so it doesn’t matter who gets the goals as long as we see the results. We all have very high standards and we didn’t reach our full potential last year but it has made us even more determined show what we can do this season. Despite the results not going our way, it was a great experience playing for the Torrent and I can’t wait to put the jersey on again!”
Going into the 2018 season, how do you prepare yourself to top last year’s performance? Both from a personal side and a team side?
MH: “I believe we can all perform at a higher level and we are determined to do so. We have a very talented squad and we will be doing everything we can to have a successful season. I have been working very hard in the off season on both physical and technical aspects of my game which I hope will show in the upcoming season. The team finished the season strong last year as we found our rhythm, so we will be looking to start the season how we finished. Coach Davi has also made some fantastic signings which will add some real competition and help to improve our performances on the field. We want to thank our fans for their support by giving them even more to cheer about this season.”
As you mentioned, this offseason Coach Davi and the staff has been busy adding new faces to the squad. Are you familiar with any of the new talent coming in?
MH: “As I’m not from around here, I haven’t played with the new signings but I have heard many great things about them. Some of my other teammates cannot speak highly enough of the new additions so I’m excited to play with them.”
Up top, do you look forward to being creative in generating offense with guys like Alex Bradley, Samuel Biek, and Michael Da Silva?
MH: “I always want to play with the best players. Their arrival will help to get the best out of me and out of the team. Having such strength in depth will be a real asset to the team. I’m looking forward to linking up with them and creating some fantastic soccer.”
MH: “I am from Hull, which is in northeast England. Some of you may have heard of Hull City which was a Premier League club until they were unfortunately relegated last season. Being English means that my teammates constantly imitate my British accent (Chris Kurth definitely does the worst impression). I came over to the USA through a coaching company called Challenger Sports. I came to the States in 2013 and fell in love with the Country and Wisconsin. I have been coaching at Sun Prairie Soccer Club for the past 5 years. Many of the players I coach are now keen Milwaukee Torrent fans and came to a lot of games last season.
I hope to see some of them playing for the Torrent in the future!”
When you get to Milwaukee, even though Coach keeps you busy, what are somethings you like to do?
MH: “Along with playing for the Torrent, I also coach three teams, so I am very busy in the spring. Soccer is my life, so when I’m not playing, I’m coaching soccer. When I’m not coaching soccer, I’m watching soccer so you get the idea! I am very excited for the Soccer World Cup this year. I hope all Torrent fans will cheer on England since the USA didn’t qualify, although, I’m sure Coach Davi’s Germany squad will knock us out on penalties like always.”
What places would you recommend to your teammates that are new to the city?
MH: “Milwaukee has some amazing restaurants which I would recommend-Morel and Cielito Lindo are personal favorites of mine. I also love the sandwiches from Glorioso’s, in particular their meatball subs!”
In speaking with some members of The Flood, they wanted to know a few things if you’re ok with that?
MH: “That’s absolutely fine.”
You had posted some photos from inside the locker room at Southampton AFC. How did you get in there? And why?
The coaching company I work for now has a partnership with Southampton AFC. I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the few coaches who will be running Southampton AFC camps this summer In the USA. I was invited down to the club for a tour and an introduction into “The Southampton Way”. It was a fantastic experience and great to see behind the scenes of a Premier League club.”
If Coach Davi had an endless checkbook available to him and he came to you asking what three players in the world he should sign, what would be your suggestion of who to bring in that you would love to play with?
MH: “David Beckham was my hero growing up, so if Coach Davi could convince him to come out of retirement, I would be very grateful. In my view Messi is the greatest player of all time so I would have to include him as well. If we had those two players, we probably wouldn’t need anyone else. I am a big fan of Harry Kane but he would steal my place on the field so it wouldn’t be a smart pick by me.”
Thanks so much Mark for taking some time out of your busy schedule. We are very happy to hear that your visa has gone through and that we can officially begin looking forward to seeing you on the pitch in Milwaukee in 2018. Here’s hoping for continued success!