Germany’s Moritz Fuerste was named the FIH Men’s Player of Year in a post-game ceremony in Melbourne today. It was a double German delight as Fuerste’s Olympic teammate Florian Fuchs was named the FIH Young Player of the Year (U21).
Fuerste beat out an impressive field of finalists that included Australian Jamie Dwyer, the Netherlands' Robert van der Horst, India's Sardar Singh and Fuerste's teammate Tobias Hauke. The Young Player of the Year finalists were Simon Gougnard (BEL), Harry Martin (ENG), Gonzalo Peillat (ARG) and Muhammad Rizwan Junior (PAK).
It is the first time that Fuerste earned Player of the Year honors, having been a nominee in 2011 and 2010, and the first time since 2002 that a German won the award. Fuerste was a central figure in the German team that won the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and also a member of the German gold medal teams at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the 2006 World Cup in Mönchengladbach, and the 2011 and 2007 Indoor World Cups.
"I am really honored to be named the Player of Year," said Fuerste after he received the award from FIH President Leandro Negre. "It's a great way to end a very memorable year for me."
It was the second Olympic gold for the 28 year-old veteran, who celebrated his 200th cap for Germany during the tournament here in Melbourne and has scored 67 goals in his international career. Fuerste added one penalty corner goal at the Olympics and has added two goals so far at the Champions Trophy in Melbourne. In Germany, Fuerste played his club hockey with UHC Hamburg, a team he guided to three Euro Hockey League titles (2008, 2010 & 2012), and has been crowned EHL’s Most Valuable Player twice (2008 & 2010). He currently plays his hockey in Madrid, Spain with Club de Campo.
Florian Fuchs - another product of UHC Hamburg's youth system - was also in London as part of the golden effort for the Germans, and was instrumental in the team’s win as he paced the entire tournament, scoring six field goals in seven games. The six goals ranked Fuchs second in overall scoring at the men’s hockey tournament in London. Fuchs debuted with the German senior men’s team 18 days after his 18th birthday at the 2009 Champions Trophy in Melbourne, a few months after having won Junior World Cup gold. At just 20 years of age, Fuchs has already played over 70 international games for the Germans and has scored an impressive 45 goals.
The last time a German won the Young Player of the Year award was when Tobias Hauke earned the honor in 2010.
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