Van Doren, Delfina named best hockey players of 2017

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Berlin, Feb 6 (IANS) Belgium’s defender Arthur Van Doren was named both Male Player of the Year and Rising Star of the Year, while Argentina’s forward Delfina Merino was voted 2017 Female Player of the Year at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) awards ceremony.

While Van Doren on Monday got the Rising Star of the Year for the second year in a row, Argentina’s Maria Jose Granatto won the Female Rising Star of the Year for the second consecutive year after picking up the same award in India just over 12 months ago.

None of the Indians were in contention for the Male Player of the Year and Female Player of the Year awards.

England’s Maddie Hinch was another to secure back-to-back success as she was named Female Goalkeeper of the Year while Vincent Vanasch added to Belgium’s awards as he was voted Male Goalkeeper of the Year, FIH said in a statement.

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Australian legend Alyson Annan won Female Coach of the Year as she led the Netherlands to both the Hockey World League and Rabobank EuroHockey Championship titles.

The Male Coach of the Year was split. Argentina’s Max Caldas, who steered the Netherlands men to the Rabobank EuroHockey Championship trophy, and New Zealand’s Shane McLeod, who guided Belgium to a triumphant victory at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg — both shared this year’s award.

The world’s top officials were also recognised. Sarah Wilson from Scotland was voted by her peers as Female Umpire of the Year and South Africa’s John Wright, who retired after the HWL Semi-Final in his homeland, won Male Umpire of the Year.

Whilst the Coach and Umpire awards were a result of a peer vote – the Player, Rising Star and Goalkeeper awards consisted of both a peer vote, which included fellow players and coaches, as well as a fan vote in which over 100,000 votes were received through the FIH website.

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Speaking about this year’s awards, FIH President Narinder Dhruv Batra said: “Tonight’s winners should feel incredibly proud of their achievements. Being named as the best in the world by peers and fans is the result of years of hard work, determination and sacrifice – attributes that have driven them to the top of the game.”

–IANS

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