Hinch and Dixon win Hockey Writers' Club player of the year awards

Defenders star in the 2013 awards
Maddie Hinch receives the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award at the EuroHockey Cup of nations

HWC player of the year Maddie Hinch receives the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award at the EuroHockey Cup of nations

Adam Dixon – the 27-year-old Great Britain, and England defender from the Beeston club – and Maddie Hinch – the 25-year-old Great Britain, England and Holcombe goalkeeper – were named UK Players of the Year for 2013.

The awards followed the annual poll conducted amongst British members of the Hockey Writers’ Club. 

Both Dixon and Hinch are firmly established in the England training squads and strong prospects for the GB Olympic squads for Rio.

Hinch, after winning the Higgins Youth Award for 2006, has been on the radar for success every since. Although winning her first full England international cap in Hamburg two years later, age 20, it was not until 2011 that she made her mark in the England goal with a series of useful performances in the Champions Trophy in Amstelveen.

Three Player of the Tournament Awards during 2013, including the HWC’s Marjorie Pollard Salver for her performance in the European Nations Cup made it a year to be remembered which ended in an eye-catching performance in December in the shoot out during the 3/4th place playoff final of the World Hockey League against Argentina in Tucuman.

Maddie has now taken her international appearances to 27 for England plus three for Great Britain. Commenting on winning the Player of the Year Award following the Pollard Salver Hinch said: “To hear I have also won the UK Player of the Year award is such an honour and it really has rounded off a great year for me and the rest of the squad.”

Adam Dixon, who was first capped by England in Nuremberg in 2009, has made 122 (England 93 GB 29) international appearances and was bitterly disappointed in 2012 when he was not selected for the Olympic squad.

At the time he told the Newark Advertiser, he played his first hockey for Newark at the age of eight, “I’m absolutely devastated. It was also a big shock since I’d played all the major tournaments leading up to the Olympics”.

During 2013 Dixon firmly cast aside his Olympic disappointment and set his sights on Rio 2016 with a string of outstanding performances for club and country.

As captain he led his club Beeston to fan 11-point lead in the NOW: Pensions premier division before winning the championship playoffs and securing  a place in the Euro League Hockey for 2013/14. In the 2012/13 Euro Hockey League the team reached the quarter-finals. 

Adam Dixon (left) congratulates Ashley Jackson on a recent goalscoring milestone.

HWC player of the year Adam Dixon (left) congratulates Ashley Jackson on a recent goalscoring milestone.

 

Hinch received the traditional Rose Bowl and cheque at Tuesday's presentational lunch at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in Knightsbridge, London from International Hockey Federation president Leandro Negre, who flew in from Barcelona for the occasion. Adam’s was received on his behalf by his club’s vice-president, Martin Twist.

Iain Lewers (East Grinstead) and Alex Danson (Reading) were runners up with Barry Middleton (Holcombe) and Kate Richardson-Walsh (Reading) in third place.

Certificates and cheques were also presented to Rebekah Walker (City of Bath College and Team Bath Buccaneers) and Chris Proctor (Beeston HC) as winners of the Higgins Group UK Youth Hockey Awards. Alice Wills (Queenswood School and Old Loughtonians HC) and Jack Turner (Sir William Borlase School and Marlow HC) won the Higgins Junior awards.