AWARD WINNER: Rockhampton’s Mark Knowles has scored double honours at Hockey Australia’s awards night in Perth.
AWARD WINNER: Rockhampton’s Mark Knowles has scored double honours at Hockey Australia’s awards night in Perth. DAN CARSON DC IMAGES

Hockey champion Mark Knowles takes out awards

THE ACCOLADES just keep coming for Rockhampton's hockey champion Mark Knowles.

Just months after leading the Kookaburras to victory in the World Cup and to Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow, he has scooped the pool at Hockey Australia's awards night in Perth.

Knowles was named the Kookaburras' Player of the Year and shared the Kookaburras' Player of the World Cup award with teammate Eddie Ockenden.

Two other Rockhampton products were among players recognised for milestone appearances with the national team.

Jamie Dwyer, five-time World Hockey Player of the Year, was recognised for 300 appearances for the Kookaburras and Matt Gohdes for 100. Knowles was recognised for 200 appearances.

Kookaburras' coach Graham Reid hailed Knowles' leadership skills when he presented him with the Player of the Year award.

"Not only has Mark been our best player for 2014, which has included the World League Finals, the Azlan Shah Cup, the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, but he has also been an inspirational leader and he has provided that leadership at a time when we needed it," he said.

"And anyone who watched the World Cup will have seen those two players, Mark (Knowles) and Eddie (Ockenden), stood out.

"They played fantastically well across all of the games, including the final, and in the final I thought they were exceptional and this is just reward."

Barbara and Ryan Knowles said they were thrilled for their son, who has dedicated his life to hockey.

"We're very excited for him," Barbara said yesterday. "He's had an amazing year.

"I really don't think people understand just what they put in. It is a full-time commitment for them and through it all they still give back to the community."

Knowles will return to Rockhampton in December to celebrate Christmas with family before lining up for the Hockey India League.



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