Surbiton Ladies’ Hollie Pearne-Webb has won the Hockey Writers’ Club prestigious UK Player of the Year award for 2017, as chosen by members of the Hockey Writers’ Club.
The award was made at the Club’s annual awards presentation lunch on Wednesday January 24, 2018 at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knightsbridge, London.
Defender Pearne-Webb, 27, is Investec women’s player of the year. She was a major contributor to England’s efforts on the international stage in what was a rebuilding year following Great Britain’s success at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
In August 2017, she was named player of the tournament at the European hockey championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands – an award that is traditionally dominated by host-country winners and forward or midfield players. England took bronze in that tournament, defeating Germany 2-0 in the bronze-medal game. Also during 2017, England finished fourth in the women’s Hockey World League Final in Auckland, New Zealand, in November.
On hearing she had won the Investec women’s award, Pearne-Webb said: “It is a surprise. I said the same thing at the Europeans – I don’t really think about awards. But I am so honoured to receive this Hockey Writers’ Club player of the year award because the previous recipients are such great players. I am very happy, very surprised and very honoured.”
The defender made her international debut in 2013. She began hockey with Belper Hockey Club and has also played at Beeston and Surbiton. Pearne-Webb, then Webb, famously netted Great Britain’s winning shootout goal in the 2016 Olympic Games gold match against the Netherlands.
“It is a new squad since 2016 and we have made a really good start into this Olympic cycle,” she said. “There are a lot of fresh faces and it has been a really exciting time getting to know those players. I am really looking forward to next two or three years, and this year in particular with what we have ahead. There is so much potential there.”
Major tournaments of 2018 include the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, then the women’s Hockey World Cup in London in July.
“What we have ahead is so exciting for everyone in the squad. All the home nations are going to the Commonwealth Games and then we have a home World Cup for the England players – we are incredibly excited about that.”
In 2017, Pearne-Webb also received the Marjorie Pollard Salver as the best player at a major tournament nominated by the HRC (The European Championships).
Pearne-Webb pipped University of Birmingham player, Lily Owsley with former Surbiton player, Sophie Bray, now with Kampong in the Netherlands, finishing third.
The Mercian Men’s Player of the Year award went to Beeston’s Sam Ward, with Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth finishing second, whilst third place was a tie between Holcombe players George Pinner and Barry Middleton.