England U21s coach Stuart Pearce chooses his Senior Team Player of the Year
Under-21s Coach Stuart Pearce
made his vote for England Player of the Year for 2012
and picked a player he handed two debuts to - Joe Hart
Pearce, the former Manchester City boss, signed Hart as a 19-year-old from Shrewsbury and is not surprised by the keeper's rise to the Three Lions starting eleven.
After a trip to see the youngster in action at Gay Meadow, Pearce took Hart back to Eastlands and in October 2006 gave him his first taste of Premier League action as he kept a clean sheet in a draw with Sheffield United.
"I remember the first time I saw him play," recalled Pearce. "Myself and Tim Flowers went down to see him at Shrewsbury and when he jogged out of the tunnel he was waving to his family in the stands.
"But that's what makes him a good keeper, I think. He's so relaxed and plays the game with a smile on his face."
Shortly after his debut for Manchester City, he went on loan to Tranmere Rovers, then on to Blackpool. It was while he was at Bloomfield Road that he received a call into the England Under-21s side, also managed by Pearce, and made his debut against Spain.
He returned to Manchester the following season playing regularly under new City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Hart went on to play 21 times in Pearce's Young Lions, made his senior debut in 2008 and became a Premier League Champion last season.
Now, as England's number one, the 25-year-old has collected 27 caps and Pearce says he's become one of the key faces inside the Wembley dressing room.
"He's evolved, not just as a player but as one of the characters within the squad," added Pearce.
"A lot of the fans have an affection for Joe, too. He's got a great manner about him and in this day and age when some players are maybe criticised for being aloof, Joe definitely isn't like that.
"He looks genuinely like he enjoys playing football, which is fantastic to see in a young player."
Hart, Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole and Danny Welbeck are all in the hunt this year and it's up to you which star will claim the 2012 England Player of the Year award at the inaugural FA England Awards in association with Vauxhall at St. George's Park on Sunday 3 February 2013.
Place your vote in the poll below before the closing date of 13 January 2013. You can also vote for the England Men's Under-21sand Women's Senior Players of the Year, too.