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Charlotte Stapenhorst (Germany)
At the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Valencia a new star emerged in the colours of Germany. Charlotte Stapenhorst demonstrated all that is good about Die Danas style of hockey, fast, skilful and not afraid to get stuck in, whether she was attacking or defending the ball. Just a few months later at EuroHockey Championships 2015 and Stapenhorst was again showing her ability to turn games. She was impressive in Germany’s close defeat at the hands of the Dutch but really showed her class when she scored a hat-trick against Spain, helping to secure the bronze medal for her team.
Xan de Waard (Netherlands)
Xan de Waard has been a rising star within the ranks of the Netherlands team for a couple of years now. Nominated last year for the same award, de Waard is a class act within a team of superstars. Still only just 21, de Waard was a member of the squad that lifted the 2014 World Cup and was part of the team that finished second in the 2014 Champions Trophy and won silver in the 2015 EuroHockey Championships. She is a pivotal part of the Dutch midfield and already has 35 caps to her name.
Lily Owsley (Great Britain)
Lily Owsley is fast emerging as a potent strike force for the England and Great Britain squads. Picked in the first instance for her speed, Owsley has now added skill, creativity and tactical know-how to her arsenal. Owsley scored the goal that took England to shoot-out in the EuroHockey Championships, pouncing on a rebound and slamming the ball past Joyce Sombroek in the Netherland’s goal.
Rose Keddell (New Zealand)
The New Zealand Black Sticks are on the rise. They have been perennial fourth-place finishers for a number of years now, but a fantastic string of performances in Rosario during the Argentina Hockey World League Final saw the New Zealand team win silver. At just 21, Rose Keddell already has 98 caps to her name and her defensive skills, combined with top work rate and creative midfield play makes her one of the bright stars in this ever-improving New Zealand side.
Maria Verschoor (Netherlands)
Maria Verschoor is the second Netherlands player among the nominations and with good reason. Verschoor burst onto the international scene in striking fashion. With her recognisable hair style and amazing speed and skills, she has instantly become one of the stars of the world number one side. With just 36 caps to her name, Verschoor has a lot of learning still to do, but her performances on the pitch at EuroHockey 2015 and both the HWL Semi-Final and HWL Final cemented her place as a rising star.