WorldHockey Players of the Year aim for Second Gold
11 Jan 2008 14:59
It is pure coincidence that the two young Australian stars who collected the prestigious WorldHockey Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards were both born and brought up in Rockhampton, Queensland – a town of 70,000 people and the beef capital of Australia. Striker Jamie Dwyer captured the award for a second time in Kuala Lumpur having previously won it in 2004, but for Knowles, 23, it was his first major trophy.
With the countdown to the Beijing Olympics in full swing, it’s not surprising to learn that the pair has set their sights on adding a second Games gold medal to their impressive collections.
Cathy Harris catches up with the duo at the start of the year.
The prolific forward’s personal motto is “You never ever know if you never ever go”. Having made his mark in national leagues in Australia, Holland, Spain and India, Dwyer has earned 175 Australian caps and scored 106 goals since making his debut against New Zealand in 2001. Twice a World Cup silver medalist he has also won two silver medals and gold at the Champions Trophy.
How does it feel to have won the junior and senior awards?
I was very happy to win the best player for a second time and also winning the junior award in 2002. These awards are big personal achievements for me.
What do remember about your first international?
I remember being very nervous before the game but once I got out there everything felt normal. It was nice that my family was there to watch and that we won!
How important is it to be a goal scorer?
It’s important to score goals but you also need other aspects in your game to be a good player.
What do you do in your leisure time?
I like playing golf and going to the beach and relaxing with my family and friends
Favorite food and drink?
I don’t have a favorite food because I like all food depending on what I feel like in the day. I like a glass of cold milk.
Best place to play hockey and why?
Netherlands because the atmosphere is really good. A close second would be Kuala Lumpur because the stadium and the pitch are the best
I learnt from my parents......
Pretty much everything. They have been there and supported me my whole life and have taught me that family comes before anything.
Who is the toughest defender you have played against?
Bjorn Emmerling (Germany)
I cope with disappointment......
Because life goes on
What is your most recent purchase?
I didn’t buy it but was given a watch from Adidas for being awarded the best player in the world.
Knowles starting playing hockey when he was only 4 years old and also plays cricket and golf outside the game.His Dad was his first coach at Southside United in Rockhampton and the former Australian defender Jay Stacy is his hockey hero.
Who was your sporting hero when you were growing up?
American basketball star Michael Jordan
I would still like to achieve.....
More Olympic success and to win the World Cup
My most memorable moment in hockey...
Winning the gold medal in Athens in 2004
How would your friends describe you?
Strong minded, friendly and loves life
What quality do you most admire in a person?
Honest, friendly people
If I could change one rule in hockey.....
I’d have only 7 defenders in the defensive 25 at one time
My favorite book is....
”It’s not about the Bike” by Lance Armstrong
Who would you most like to invite (dead or alive) for a dinner party and what would you eat and drink?
David Beckham, Michael Voss (Aussie Rules football), and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. I’d eat steak cooked by Mum, Sushi and Corona beers.