Jamie Dwyer receiving his award from FIH President Leandro Negre
Jamie Dwyer receiving his award from FIH President Leandro Negre
(Photo: FIH / Grant Treeby)

Australian superstar Jamie Dwyer has been honoured by his fellow international hockey players by being named as the men’s FIH Player of the Year for 2011, with compatriot Matthew Swann winning the Young Player award.

The winners of the awards were presented with their prizes at the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy in Auckland by FIH President Leandro Negre, with the ceremony taking place during half time of the match between The Netherlands and Spain.

Jamie 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. 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.

Dwyer’s win is even more remarkable when you consider 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 Owen G Glenn FIH 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 ensures that the Kookaburras claim a double win in the men’s FIH Player awards, with international stars recognising his talents in the voting ballot.

The 22 year old Queenslander has been hugely impressive over the past 12 months, becoming a key defender in Ric Charlesworth’s all-conquering Australia 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 FIH Champions Trophy in Auckland, New Zealand.

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).

The winners of the women’s Player of the Year Awards will be announced at the Argentina Champions Trophy, which takes place in Rosario between January 28and February 5, 2012.

The 2011 FIH All-Star teams will be decided by public vote on the FIH Website between 12th and 21stDecember.

Past winners:
Men
1998 Stephan Veen (NED)
1999 Jay Stacy (AUS)
2000 Stephan Veen (NED)
2001 Florian Kunz (GER)
2002 Michael Green (GER)
2003 Teun de Nooijer (NED)
2004 Jamie Dwyer (AUS)
2005 Teun de Nooijer (NED)
2006 Teun de Nooijer (NED)
2007 Jamie Dwyer (AUS)
2008 Pol Amat (ESP)
2009 Jamie Dwyer (AUS)
2010 Jamie Dwyer (AUS)
2011 Jamie Dwyer (AUS)

Young Men
2001 Tibor Weissenborn (GER)
2002 Jamie Dwyer (AUS)
2003 Grant Schubert (AUS)
2004 Santi Freixa (ESP)
2005 Robert van der Horst (NED)
2006 Christopher Zeller (GER)
2007 Mark Knowles (AUS)
2008 Eddie Ockenden (AUS)
2009 Ashley Jackson (ENG)
2010 Tobias Hauke (GER)
2011 Matthew Swann (AUS)