Indian men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh was on Friday nominated for the Player of the Year award by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) after he led the country to a Tokyo Olympics berth.
Two other Indian players, Vivek Prasad and Lalremsiami, were also nominated for the men’s and women’s FIH Rising Star of the Year Award respectively.
The 27-year-old Manpreet, a veteran of 242 international caps, is the midfield pivot of the Indian team. Under his captaincy, India beat Russia 11-3 on aggregate in Bhubaneswar last month to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
The 19-year-old Prasad, a midfielder, led the Indian team in the Youth Olympics last year where the country won a silver medal. He was alsonamed the best young player at the FIH Series Finals this year.
Lalremsiami, a forward, was a part of the Asian Games silver-winning women’s squad. She is also 19 years of age.
Australians Eddie Ockenden and Aran Zalewski, Argentina’s Lucas Vila and Belgians Arthur Van Doren and Victor Wegnez were the other five nominees for the prestigious FIH Player of the Year award.
Ockenden, a 32-year-old veteran of 340 matches, and Zalewski led the Australian team in their country’s multi-player captaincy policy and they were part of the FIH Pro League 2019 gold winning team. Zalewski was named the best player of the tournament.
Vila was a part of the Argentina team that won the gold in 2016 Rio Olympics and 2019 Pan American Games.
The Belgian duo of Van Doren and Wegnez played major roles in their country’s 2018 World Cup title win and 2019 FIH Pro League runners-up finish.
National associations, players, fans and journalists across the world can vote for the award.
“Votes from national associations — which will include some international athletes and coaches votes — will count for 50 per cent of the overall result, while fans and players (25 per cent) as well as media (25 per cent) will make the other half of the votes,” the FIH said in a release.
“The vote is open until 17 January 2020. The winners of all 2019 FIH Hockey Stars Awards, which also include the FIH Coach of the Year, will be announced in February 2020,” it added.
The men’s and women’s FIH Coach of the Year will not be voted but will be picked by an FIH panel.
FIH Player of the Year: Manpreet Singh (India), Eddie Ockenden (Australia), Aran Zalewski (Australia), Lucas Vila (Argentina), Arthur Van Doren (Belgium), Victor Wegnez (Belgium)
FIH Goalkeeper of the Year: Tyler Lovell (Australia), Vincent Vanasch (Belgium), David Carter (Canada), Quico Cortes (Spain), Victor Aly (Germany)
FIH Rising Star of the Year (U-23): Vivek Prasad (India), Maico Casella (Argentina), Blake Govers (Australia), Zachary Wallace (Great Britain), Jonas de Geus (Netherlands)
FIH Player of the Year:
Carla Rebecchi (Argentina), Janne M ller-Wieland (Germany), Eva de Goede (Netherlands), Frederique Matla (Netherlands), Stacey Michelsen (New Zealand), Olivia Merry (New Zealand)
FIH Goalkeeper of the Year: Rachael Lynch (Australia), Maria Ruiz (Spain), Mathilde Petriaux (France), Ayeisha McFerran (Ireland), Megumi Kageyama (Japan)
FIH Rising Star of the Year (U-23): Lalremsiami (India), Julieta Jankunas (Argentina), Zhong Jiaqi (China), Nike Lorenz (Germany), Frederique Matla (Netherlands).