For good reason, Jamie Dwyer is considered by many to be the greatest hockey player of all time. Having won gold in the 2004 Athens Olympics, the 2010 and 2014 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cups, and the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Commonwealth Games, his list of accomplishments is long and impressive.
Few hockey players can match Jamie Dwyer’s record of accomplishment. As the world eagerly awaits the recipients of the FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2021-22, we met up with Jamie Dwyer to talk about his many awards, including the 2002 FIH Rising Star of the Year and the FIH Player of the Year awards on five separate times (2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, and 2011).
When you won the FIH Player of the Year accolades in the past, how did it make you feel to be named the finest hockey player in the world?
In retrospect, I see how fortunate I was, much more so than when I first won. When I was actively playing, I was more concerned with helping my nation win tournaments; individual honors followed. After retiring and taking stock of my accomplishments, though, I find great pride in my five FIH Player of the Year trophies.
When you were a young athlete, who were some of the players you looked up to on the field?
When I was young, my parents were the most influential people in my life. They continued to show their support even after I made the Australian national squad. The women’s team (Hockeyroos) had a lot of success when I was a kid, so I remember watching players like Michelle Andrews and Alyson Annan on television. Among the male players, 1999 FIH Player of the Year Jay Stacy. From 1996 to 2000, I was a big fan of the Netherlands national soccer team. I admired them and wanted to emulate their success and fame.
Who are the athletes you think will emerge as future stars in hockey ahead of the 2019 FIH Hockey Stars Awards?
It’s tough to choose out just a few outstanding players from any squad, since there are so many of them. It’s common knowledge that Belgian soccer is now at the top of the international rankings; lately, I’ve been particularly impressed with Antoine Kina, and everyone knows that Arthur van Doren is a fantastic goalkeeper. It’s always exciting to see what Christopher Rühr will do next for his team, and he’s always a pleasure to watch as a result.
You’ve had such a lengthy and successful hockey career, so choosing just one highlight is no easy feat.
This is the Olympic gold medal we earned in 2004 in Athens. This is the only Olympic gold medal won by an Australian men’s team. In 1992, 1996, and 2000, I saw every single Olympic event. It was the pinnacle of my career to represent my country in the 2004 Olympics and win gold against my idols, the Netherlands and Teun de Nooijer. In addition to the Olympic gold, the two World Cup titles were also remarkable. Since we lost to Germany in both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, winning the 2010 tournament against them was very meaningful.