Time to make the stars shine
It’s that time of year again when the hockey world comes together to celebrate all that is great and inspirational about our sport. Yes, the voting for the 2017 Hockey Stars will be opening on 1 December and you can play your part in making sure that your favourite players are rewarded for their amazing performances over the past year.
There are 10 winning categories and the hockey public are eligible to vote in six of them. Cast your vote for the Player of the Year (men and women); Goalkeeper of the Year (men and women) and Rising Star (men and women).
There will also be awards for the mens’ and women’s Coach of the Year and the men’s and women’s Umpire of the Year. Coach of the Year nominees are voted for by the international coaches and the coaches from the High Performance Panel, while Umpire of the Year Awards are decided by an international panel of umpires and technical officials, as well as athletes.
In addition, a panel will select an FIH All-Stars Team, so check to see if your favourite players make the final cut.
Five male and five female nominees have been selected for each award. The Player, Goalkeeper and Rising Star awards were selected by a panel consisting of the FIH Athletes' Committee, Continental Federations, coaches and media (the panel consists of coaches, FIH Executive Board, Master Coaches, Athletes Committee and media). All awards are based on performance at international events during the 2017 season, as well as the player's overall contribution to the sport. These nominations will be released on 1 December.
Winners will be decided by the combined results of an online vote that is open to the public and a peer vote from international athletes. Voting closes on 14 January, so make sure you have made your vote count.
And as a timely reminder of the calibre of players, coaches and officials who adorn the FIH roll of honour, here are last year’s winners.
FIH Player of the Year (men and women):
Dutch dynamo Naomi van As (Netherlands) is a double World Champion and twice Olympic gold medallist who has since retired from international hockey. John-John Dohmen (Belgium) continues to lead the Red Lions with panache.
FIH Goalkeeper of the Year (men and women):
Maddie Hinch (GR and England) continues to star between the posts as England picked up bronze at the 2017 EuroHockey Championships, while David Harte (Ireland) is the backbone of an Ireland team that secured qualification for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018.
FIH Rising Star (men and women):
Maria Granatto (Argentina) weaves her magic in the famed blue and white and is a Las Leonas legend in the making. Arthur Van Doren is on his way back from injury and is eyeing the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 as the next challenge.
FIH Coach of the Year:
Danny Kerry (GB and England), Karen Brown (GB and England). The winning coaches, Kerry and Brown, led Great Britain to their first ever Olympic gold medal, to add to the European gold they won with England in 2015.
FIH Umpire of the Year:
Lauren Delforge (Belgium) and Christian Blasch (Germany). Two umpires at the top of their games. Both Delforge and Blasch took control of the 2016 Olympic finals but they are also hugely supportive of their coaching colleagues and portray the very best in professional attitudes.
Watch out for the nominations on 1 December and then make sure your vote counts!