The international hockey federation FIH announced the nominees for the trophies of the best players and coaches of the year on Tuesday. Belgium has two contenders for the Player of the Year award with Arthur De Sloover and Tom Boon. They will compete against outgoing winner Harmanpreet Singh from India, the German Niklas Wellen and the Dutchman Thierry Brinkman.
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Loic Van Doren is eligible for the Goalkeeper of the Year trophy. Indian PR Sreejesh, Dutchman Pirmin Blaak, Frenchman Arthur Thieffry and German Alexander Stadler are the other nominees.
The award for best men’s coach is between the Dutchman Michel van den Heuvel, national coach of the Red Lions, Jeroen Delmee (Netherlands), Graham Reid (India), Garreth Ewing (South Africa) and Frédéric Soyez (France). . The Dutch coach of the Red Panthers Raoul Ehren also has a chance to win an award. He faces competition from Janneke Schopman (India), Jamilon Mülders (Netherlands), Katrina Powell (Australia) and Adrian Lock (Spain).
Red Panther Charlotte Englebert is eligible for the Rising Star of the Year award. The Dutch Luna Fokke and Jip Dicke, Mumtaz Khan from India and the Australian Amy Lawton are also nominated.
Last year there was a lot of controversy surrounding the FIH Hockey Stars Awards. Despite the Olympic title, the Belgian hockey men fell short of the prizes. India was the big winner for both the men and the women, although the Indian men won ‘only’ bronze in Tokyo and the Indian women came fourth. The Belgian federation stated that it was “very disappointed” and insisted on changes in the way of choosing. Indeed, a different electoral system is now being used.
You can vote until September 30. To identify the laureates, votes are added from a group of experts (accounting for 40%), the national federations (captains and coaches, 20%), fans and players (20%) and the media (20%). The winners of all categories will be announced in early October.