Striker Rhona Simpson and drag flick expert Mark Ralph were named as the Scottish Hockey Union's Players of the Year at the Annual Awards Dinner in Aberdeen.
Rhona Simpson has been an inspiration both as a player and in her new incarnation as coach to the resurgent Giffnock. A natural striker, Rhona racked up 21 goals this season topping the scoring league table and helping Giffnock to second place in the league and their first ever National League Cup final.
On the international scene Rhona has done it all, she has played for Great Britain in two Olympic Games (Atlanta and Sydney) and represented Scotland in European and World Cup campaigns. Rhona delighted Scottish fans recently when she announced that she is coming out of international retirement and will once again line up in the Scotland squad. This is a real boost for Scotland ahead of their European campaign and suggests that there is more to come from this incredible player.
Not for the first time, Mark Ralph has been singled out for honours, this award being his second Player of the Year accolade. A consistently good performer for his club, Kelburne, Ralph's contribution to their success this year cannot be faulted. His influence in the midfield has been the crucial factor in numerous critical games for Kelburne, and indeed for the Scotland team.
He has amassed 17 goals over the course of the season, playing a huge part in Kelburne taking the title for the first time in 10 years. He was also named top goalscorer of the tournament in Kelburne's European campaign which earned Scotland promotion to the A division.
Also at the awards Kelburne were named Team of the Year following an incredible season which saw them take the Scottish league title in one of the closest fought battles for years and European silverware in Vienna when they returned Scotland to the top flight in the European Cup Winners Cup.
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