Former Belper Hockey Club junior Hollie Pearne-Webb said she was “surprised and honoured” to be named UK Women’s Player of the Year.
Pearne-Webb, who won Olympic gold in Rio 2016, was selected as the winner of the prestigious award, chosen by members of the Hockey Writers’ Club.
The 27-year-old has been a major contributor to England’s efforts on the international stage and was recognised for those at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in Knightsbridge, last week.
“It is a surprise,” said Pearne-Webb when hearing she had won the award. “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.”
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 - in August.
England took bronze in that tournament, defeating Germany 2-0 in the bronze-medal game.
“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.
“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.”