As part of the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final festivities, the FIH today announced that the 2012 Women's Player of the Year is Dutch standout Maartje Paumen. It is the second consecutive year that the midfielder has won the award.
Paumen was a member of the 2012 Olympic gold medal winning team with the Netherlands and scored three goals during the Olympics Games, including one in the final against Argentina. She also took the bronze medal at the 2012 Champions Trophy, where she scored four goals.
Paumen is the captain of the Dutch team and is the heart and soul of the current World #1 squad in the FIH World Ranking. With her club team Den Bosch, she won the 2013 EuroHockey Club Champions Cup (EHCCC).
Paumen beat out an extremely competitive field for the honor of Player of the Year. Making the Short List were (in alphabetical order):
Luciana Aymar – ARG. The seven-time Player of the Year winner had another strong year in 2012. She scored three goals at the London Olympics, where Argentina took home the silver medal. She was also on the gold medal winning team for Argentina at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Rosario.
Crista Cullen – GBR. Cullen scored four penalty corner goals at the London Olympics and was the top scorer at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Rosario. She was a key for Great Britain’s bronze medal run on home soil at the London Olympics.
Kim Lammers – NED – Lammers missed out on the gold medal with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Netherlands team, but made up for it by striking gold in London. At the 2012 Olympics, she was one of only two players to score four field goals in London. Lammers also scored four field goals at the 2012 Champions Trophy.
Kayla Sharland – NZL. One of the most respected players on the New Zealand team, Sharland paced the New Zealand side at the 2012 Olympics with four goals. She was also a leader for the team at the 2012 Champions Trophy.
Young Player of the Year
The FIH also announced that the winner of the Women's Young Player of the Year award (Under-21) is Australia’s Anna Flanagan. Flanagan, born in 1992, is such a poised fixture for the Hockeyroos that it is often easy to forget her young age.
Flanagan is a key player for Australia and was her team’s leading scorer at the 2012 London Olympic Games with two goals, where her team finished in fifth place. Flanagan was also a main figure in Australia’s bid to earn its way back to the Champions Trophy level. At the Champions Challenge 1 in Dublin, she was largely responsible for her team’s promotion, scoring three goals there.
The other players that made the Short List for the 2012 Young Player of the Year award were:
Erica Coppey BEL 1991
Cheon Eun Bi KOR 1992
Florencia Habif ARG 1993
Stacey Michelsen NZL 1991
Editor’s Note: It was the goal of the FIH to present the Player of the Year awards to the winners in person, which is the reason for the delay in the announcement. Anna Flanagan will be presented her award at the upcoming Hockey World League Semi-Final in London.
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