Jamie Dwyer has been named the world’s best hockey player five times, firstly in 2004 and again 2007, 2009, 2010 & 2011. His hockey success story started in Rockhampton where he was born and bred. Jamie picked up his first stick when he was four, his parents both played hockey at the Rockhampton Hockey grounds and this is where he had his first hit.
Jamie played lots of sports during his childhood, he excelled in both hockey and cricket. By the age of 15 he had to make a choice. He was offered a cricket scholarship which meant he would have to move to Brisbane. He loved cricket, but the thought of never being able to go to compete at the Olympics didn’t encourage him. Jamie’s dream was to win an olympic gold medal and represent his country. Besides that he liked the game of hockey better because its faster and more energetic.
After Jamie finished school at 17 he moved down to Brisbane to pursue his Olympic dream. He made the Queensland Blades team and from there was selected into the Hockey AIS (Australian Institute of Sports) in Perth in 1999. It wasn’t until after the Sydney Olympics that Jamie was selected in the Australian men’s hockey team. When Jamie made his Australian debut in 2001, he had the option of choosing a range of jersey numbers, including the vacant number #1 jersey. It was never really a choice. He wanted the number one, so he took it.
By 2004, the International Hockey Federation had put its official seal on Dwyer’s bullishness, voting him player of the year. He won the prestigious prize again in 2007, 2009, 2010 & 2011 cementing his status as Australia’s best ever hockey product.
Yet Dwyer remains far from one of Australia’s best recognised sporting stars. It’s a different story in Spain and particularly in India and The Netherlands, where Dwyer has played club hockey. Hockey has become the number two sport behind soccer in The Netherlands, thanks to regular TV coverage. In his two seasons playing for Bloemendaal in the Dutch league, Jamie Dwyer regularly had to stop and sign autographs for his Dutch fans.
Jamie has learned a lot from playing overseas in The Netherlands, Spain and India. He has learned to adapt to all different styles of hockey that are played throughout the world. The way the Dutch play is different to the Australians and that’s the same for the Spaniards who play different again to the Dutch and to the Australians. Jamie found it very interesting to see and learn about the different playing styles and sometimes it was difficult for him to adapt because of these differences.
In 2004 Jamie’s childhood dream finally came true, he was the man who scored the winning goal in the Gold medal match, which secured the Kookaburras first ever Olympic Gold medal. By winning the Gold medal match the Australian Men’s hockey team broke Australia’s 48 year Olympic gold medal drought. That Olympic golden goal, which secured the 2-1 victory over the strongly fancied Dutch team, was a gem of a strike from a penalty corner. As lethal as Jamie is at set-pieces, it’s Dwyer’s individual moves in general play which set him apart. One of his most brilliant goals he scored at the World Cup in Germany in 2006. You can check it out on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7IqQ0646TM
In the clip Jamie dribbles past two defenders, then flicks the ball into the net from the skinniest of angles. This kind of shot was a very risky one that not everyone would take. But Dwyer has always been a risk taker. Earlier in his career this didn’t help him much because that was probably one of the reasons he did not make the Australian team before 2001, but during his international hockey career he has learned how to take more calculated risks. He does not like boring hockey.
In 2010 Dwyer completed his medal cabinet by winning the world cup in India. He was super keen to get a World Cup Gold medal because he was so close to it twice before and lost in the final both in 2006 and 2002. As for his playing future he is looking to keep playing until the 2012 Olympics in London when he’ll be 33. Jamie is one of the most experienced players in the Australian squad, he has played over 250 games for Australia and scored more than 170 international goals and is one of the captains.
He is also thinking about the future in other ways. As hockey is definitely not the best paid sport he is trying to make it a bit more lucrative, one way of doing this is, Jamie feels is to increase the game’s appeal from the ground up. Currently, up to 140,000 Australians play hockey at junior and senior level. In 2008 Dwyer formed a company with fellow Kookaburra Mark Knowles called 1&9 Coaching (the name reflects his and Knowles’s jersey numbers) to try to instill the hockey bug in kids. Big picture aside, he’s hoping the clinics, will prove a nice earner. Go to www.1and9coaching.com for more info.
Jamie’s latest venture is to start an online coaching website. The idea of online coaching has been on Jamie’s mind for a long time now. You can compare it to a risky goal shot that not everyone would take. Jamie has done his fair share of coaching already through his and Mark’s 1&9 coaching business and coaching his club team in Perth YMCC. He has done all sorts of clinics, through school visits, private clinics, overseas clinics etc. And now he can share all his knowledge and skill with you through Dwyeronline! Being voted the world’s best hockey player 5 times we know that there are hundreds hockey players and coaches out there that would like to learn from the best in the world. Go to www.dwyeronline.com for more info or to sign up today!