Dwyer receives FIH `Player of the year` award
Auckland: Australian hockey superstar Jamie Dwyer was honoured with the men`s FIH Player of the Year for 2011 while compatriot Matthew Swann won the Young Player award.
It is Dwyer`s fifth FIH Player of the Year Award, following wins in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2010. The brilliant attacker has now won the annual award two occasions more than any other male player in history - a staggering achievement.
The winners of the awards were presented with their prizes at the Owen G. Glenn FIH Champions Trophy by International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre, with the ceremony taking place during half time of the match between The Netherlands and Spain.
Dwyer fought off competition from fellow Australian Eddie Ockenden, German duo Moritz Fürste and Max Müller as well as three time winner Teun de Nooijer of The Netherlands to claim the prize.
Dwyer`s win is even more remarkable when it is considered that he spent almost six months on the sidelines recovering from a serious knee injury before returning to action in September. His form at the Champions Trophy has been nothing short of sensational, netting seven goals in four games as Australia booked a place in the tournament final with a game to spare.
The 32-year-old will be looking to continue his fine form both this weekend and in build-up to the London 2012 Olympics, where he will be looking to win a second gold medal to accompany the one he claimed at Athens 2004.
Fellow Australian Matthew Swann,22, has been hugely impressive over the past 12 months, becoming a key defender in Ric Charlesworth`s all-conquering team.
Swann is one of the youngest members of the Kookaburras squad but has been integral to their success in recent years, helping them to win the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games in 2010. This year he has been better than ever and is currently proving to be a defensive rock as Australia aim to win a fourth successive Champions Trophy.
Nominations for this prestigious prize were put together by a panel of selected coaches from many of the world`s best international teams, including Ric Charlesworth (Australia), Markus Weise (Germany), Jason Lee (England & Great Britain), Pablo Lombi (Argentina), Shane McLeod (New Zealand) and Colin Batch (Belgium).