India men’s hockey team defender and vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh has been voted the FIH Player of the Year for the second year running. The 26-year-old became just the fourth player to win the Player of the Year award (men’s category) in consecutive years, joining an elite list that includes Teun De Nooijer (Netherlands), Jamie Dwyer (Australia) and Arthur van Doren (Belgium). The India vice-captain has scored an incredible 18 goals from 16 games, with two hat-tricks, in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22.
With those 18 goals, he ended the season as the top scorer for India and now holds the record for most goals scored by a player in a single season of the Pro League. Harmanpreet was also in terrific form at the Asian Champions Trophy last year in Dhaka, where he scored 8 goals in 6 games, scoring in every single game as India finished on the podium. His performances were also crucial to the Indian team that won a silver medal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
In women’s category:
Felice Albers of Netherlands was named the FIH Player of the Year. The 22-year-old became the youngest winner of the FIH Player of the Year award (women’s category) since Germany’s Natascha Keller (1999) and second youngest ever, since the inception of the awards in 1998.
Albers total points tally stood at 29.1 points, narrowly edging Maria Granatto (26.9 points), in one of the closest races of the FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2021-22. Agustina Gorzelany finished in the 3rd place with 16.4 points. She broke into the Dutch national team in 2019, on the back of great performances at the junior level where she switched between midfield and attack. Since making her debut for the senior team, she has scored 16 goals in her 32 international appearances thus far.