Legendary skipper Mark Knowles and durable midfielder Jane Claxton have been won the prestigious Kookaburras and Hockeyroos Player of the Year awards at last night’s Hockey Australia gala event on the Gold Coast.
The individual awards winners from the AHL Finals were also announced, along with Australian Hockey’s top officials while numerous athletes were recognised for milestones and retirements.
Knowles, who retired following Australia’s Commonwealth Games gold medal victory in April, was crowned the Kookaburras’ top player for 2017.
The Rockhampton talent led the Kookaburras to Oceania Cup and World League Final titles in 2017, ultimately culminating in the side re-claiming their number one world ranking. The 34-year-old defender was an inspirational leader and defensive rock full of energy and voice.
Knowles won the award ahead of Matthew Dawson (runner-up) and Jake Whetton (third).
Claxton was named the Hockeyroos’ top player for 2017 after a consistent year where she was a key part of the Hockeyroos’ World League semis campaign and their Oceania Cup success in 2017, scoring in the 2-0 win over New Zealand in the final.
She was a durable performer, playing 26 of the Hockeyroos’ 27 matches in 2017 and stepping in as interim captain.
Claxton won the award ahead of Stephanie Kershaw (runner-up) and Renee Taylor (third).
Kathryn Slattery (12 goals) and Jeremy Hayward (21 goals) were also recognised as the respective sides’ top scorers for 2017.
The AHL awards were also handed following Sunday's finals, with Victoria's Lily Brazel and Canberra's Elena Tice winning the Women's Player of the Tournament, while Queensland's Jake Whetton claimed the Men's Player of the Tournament.
Women’s Leading Goal Scorer
Jodie Kenny (Queensland), Rebecca Greiner (Queensland), Emily Hurtz (Victoria) – 9 goals
Men’s Leading Goal Scorer
Blake Govers (NSW) – 11 goals
Women’s Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament
Rachael Lynch (Victoria)
Men’s Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament
Andrew Charter (Canberra)
Women’s Player of the Tournament
Elena Tice (Canberra) & Lily Brazel (Victoria)
Men’s Player of the Tournament
Jake Whetton (Queensland)
Women’s Player of the Final
Kaitlin Nobbs (NSW)
Men’s Player of the Final
Corey Weyer (Queensland)
HA Officials Awards
Men’s and Women’s Emerging Technical Official of the Year
Martin Courtney & Kim Monoghan
Men’s and Women’s Technical Official of the Year
Joshua Burt & Tammy Standley
Men’s and Women’s Emerging Umpire of the Year
Ben Hocking & Kristy Robertson
Men’s and Women’s Umpire of the Year
Ben De Young & Aleisha Neumann
Men’s and Women’s Emerging Umpire Manager of the Year
Carlos Mueller & Angela Holloway
Men’s and Women’s Umpire Manager of the Year
David Saunders & Minka Woolley