The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is delighted to announce the winners of the FIH 2014 Player of the Year Awards.
The Awards comprised six categories in the search for the very best players in the world during 2014. A shortlist was compiled for each category by an expert panel of hockey professionals. And then the voting began.
There was a massive response as fans, players and other stakeholders all cast their votes.
Dutch superstar Ellen Hoog has been unveiled as the women’s International Player of the Year for 2014.
Versatile midfielder, Ellen made her international debut at the age of 17, and has two Olympic gold medals, two World Cups wins and a Hockey World League title to her name, as well as numerous other championships and awards. Like Mark, she was also player of the tournament at the 2014 Hockey World Cup.
Ellen faced tough competition in the women’s category, in which she was shortlisted alongside team-mate and previous double winner of the title, Maartje Paumen and eight time title winner Luciana Aymar, who retired after leading Argentina to victory in the 2014 Champions Trophy. These three were joined on the shortlist by another player from the World Cup winning Netherlands team, Lidewij Welten and by Team USA Captain Lauren Crandall, in what has been a breakthrough year for her and the US team.
Australia’s Mark Knowles has been named as the men’s International Player of the Year for 2014.
A talented and solid defender, Australia captain, Mark who was named player of the tournament at the 2014 Hockey World Cup, is a former FIH Young Player of the Year winner. His international career began in 2004 and since then, he has accumulated Olympic gold and bronze medals, four Champions Trophy titles, three Commonwealth Games gold medals and three World Cup wins.
Although Mark emerged top of the pile for the senior award, there was close competition from England’s Ashley Jackson, teammate Eddie Ockenden, and the two Netherlands players, Robbert Kemperman and Robert van der Horst who all had outstanding years.
The International Goalkeeper of the Year titles were dominated by the Netherlands players as Jaap Stockmann and Joyce Sombroek took the respective titles.
Jaap began 2014 winning the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the Hockey India League, playing for Jaypee Punjab Warriors and was hugely consistent over the course of the year as part of the team, who won the 2014 Hockey World League final and finished runner’s up at the 2014 Hockey World Cup. Jaap was pushed all the way to the Goalkeeper title by four other very talented goalkeepers; England’s George Pinner, Australia’s Andrew Charter, India’s Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh and Argentina’s Juan Vivaldi.
Joyce, who has been the goalkeeper for the Netherlands women since 2010, had a fantastic year exemplified by the World Cup win, in which she and her team only conceded one goal throughout the whole tournament.
Joyce was shortlisted alongside four other seriously talented goalkeepers; Australia’s Rachael Lynch, American Jackie Kintzer, England’s one-on-one specialist, Maddie Hinch and Champions Trophy heroine, Belén Succi.
Previously called the Young Player of the Year, the International Male and Female Rising Stars of the Year both went to Argentina with Gonzalo Peillat and Florencia Habif scooping the Awards respectively.
Credited with single-handedly destroying New Zealand at the World Cup, Gonazlo Peillat has scored some fantastic goals throughout the year and is a deserving winner of the 2014 Rising Star Award. Gonazlo was challenged by a shortlist that included the 2013 winner, Christopher Rühr, Australia’s Jeremy Hayward, India’s Akashdeep Singh and Belgium’s Arthur Van Doren.
Florencia, who was on the shortlist for the 2013 Award, came up trumps in 2014 following fabulous displays throughout the year, in particular in front of her home crowd as Argentina won the Champions Trophy.
Florencia saw off strong challenges from four of the most exciting young players in the women’s game, including the Netherlands Xan de Waard, previous winner Australia’s Anna Flanagan, previous nominee, India’s Rani and China’s Yang Peng.
The FIH would like to congratulate everyone who made the shortlist, with special congratulations going to our winners.
Thank you to everyone who voted – your participation was much appreciated as we celebrate and recognise hockey’s superstars.
Please continue to keep an eye on our website and social media channels as we publish more on the winners over the next two months.
Photograph of Ellen Hoog (Frank Uijlenbroek (c)