They have been stars of the turf all year, now it is time to vote for your favourite player of 2015. Here is a brief introduction to each of the nominees for the FIH Player of the Year awards.
To vote on your Player of the Year, click here.
John-John Dohmen (Belgium)
A player at the heart of the Belgium Red Lions team. The creative midfielder was voted Best Player at the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp, Belgium. In the final of that event – despite losing to Australia – he celebrated his 300th cap for his country.
Tobias Hauke (Germany)
Played for Germany more than 255 times and during that stellar international career, he has won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012). The German captain led his team to victory in the 2015 Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires, Argentina thus ensuring Germany has the opportunity to win a historic third consecutive gold in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Mark Knowles (Australia)
Has been the at the helm of the Kookaburra team as it has continued to dominate international men’s hockey. Voted 2014 FIH World Player of the Year, Knowles led Australia to victory in the Hero Hockey World League Final in Raipur, India and is much admired for both his uncompromising playing style and leadership qualities.
Robert van der Horst (Netherlands)
With nearly 250 caps to his name, Netherlands captain Robert van der Horst is by far the most experienced player in the current crop of Dutch internationals. Van der Horst was the inspiration behind the Netherlands’ gold medal at the EuroHockey Championships 2015 as he led his team to a stunning 6-1 victory over Germany.
Chris Ciriello (Australia)
The Big-Dog, as Chris Ciriello is known, is the latest in a line of Australian goal machines. Ciriello is recognised as one of the best drag-flickers in the world and is regularly among the top scorers at major tournaments. In the 2015 FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp, Belgium he was second top scorer with five goals, including the late winner that sealed Australia’s victory over the host nation Belgium.
Alex Danson (England)
Voted best player at both the EuroHockey Championships 2015 and the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Valencia – where England and Great Britain respectively picked up the winning medal, Danson has been at the forefront of both England and Great Britain’s return to form this year. She is recognised as one of the most skilful and speedy strikers in the women’s game.
Delfina Merino (Argentina)
Led her nation to victory in the Argentina Hockey World League Final in Rosario, putting in a string of individual performances that helped inspire her team mates. Merino is fast becoming one of the most feared forwards in the game, with her ability to baffle defenders with her skills and score from the acutest of angles.
Jodie Kenny (Australia)
A solid defender with a deadly drag-flick, Jodie Kenny is one of the leading lights in the Australian national team and has been at the heart of the Hockeyroos revival for the past four years. Kenny was top scorer at the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp, Belgium with 10 goals and has an impressive goal to match tally – currently 149 games/92 goals.
Lidewij Welten (Netherlands)
One of a number of skilled Dutch players whose ability to turn matches is contributing to the Netherlands continued domination at the top of women’s international hockey. Welten is a midfielder whose attacking flair and skill is winning plaudits at every event and, at only 25 years of age, she already has an impressive haul of gold medals – two Olympic (2008 and 2012) as well as a World Cup title.
Mi-Hyun Park (Korea)
The inspirational Korea captain whose cap tally of 227 makes her by far the most experienced player in her national team. With Korea the first team to secure qualification for Rio 2016 when they won the Asian Championships back in 2014, Mi-Hyun Park and her team mates have been building this year towards the Olympics. At the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp, Belgium, Korea took silver, demonstrating how far they have come in a short while, and Park’s influence on that progress cannot be underestimated.