Netherlands: Xan De Waard and Pirmin Blaak Proud Winners of FIH Awards

The annual presentation of the prestigious FIH Awards has produced two Dutch winners. Dutch midfielder Xan de Waard was voted World Player of the Year, and goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak won the award for Best Goalkeeper of 2023.

It is the first time for 204-time international De Waard (nineteen goals, 43 assists) that she has been presented with this global prize. The 28-year-old SCHC playmaker has been among the best players in the world for years and was already nominated for an FIH Award in 2018. With the Dutch team, De Waard won the fourth season of the FIH Pro League and the battle for the European title in 2023.

De Waard replaces teammate Felice Albers (Amsterdam) as World Player of the Year. It is the twelfth time that an international of the Orange Women has received the award. For Albers, Eva de Goede (twice), Naomi van As (twice), Maartje Paumen (twice), Lidewij Welten, Ellen Hoog, Minke Booij and Mijntje Donners won the award.

Blaak best goalkeeper

Pirmin Blaak has been nominated twice before (in 2018 and 2022), but has now won the prestigious award for the first time in his career. The Oranje-Rood goalie and 139-time international is the second Dutch goalkeeper to receive that honor after Jaap Stockmann in 2014. Blaak missed the European Championship in Mönchengladbach last summer due to the birth of his son Keje, but could look back on an excellent World Cup in India in January and then won the fourth Pro League season with the Dutch team.

The other awards went to Indian Hardik Singh as World Player of the Year. Savita (India) has been named the best goalkeeper by the FIH. Alyson Annan (China) and André Henning (Germany) have been voted the best coaches in the world. The awards for best referees went to Ben Göntgen (Germany) and Ayanna McClean (Trinidad and Tobago). Spain’s Teresa Lima and Frenchman Gaspard Xavier have been named talent of the year by the World Hockey Association.

The total overview

Best player of the year: 

  1. Hardik Singh (India)
  2. Niklas Wellen (Germany)
  3. Thierry Brinkman (Netherlands)
  4. Zach Wallace (England)
  5. Jeremy Hayward (Australia)

Best player of the year:

  1. Xan de Waard (Netherlands)
  2. Eugenia Trinchinetti (Argentina)
  3. Charlotte Englebert (Belgium)
  4. Sonja Zimmermann (Germany)
  5. Rosie Malone (Australia)

Best goalkeeper of the year:

  1. Pirmin Blaak (Netherlands)
  2. Vincent Vanasch (Belgium)
  3. Jean-Paul Danneberg (Germany)
  4. Oliver Payne (England)
  5. Andrew Charter (Australia)

Best goalkeeper of the year:

  1. Savita (India)
  2. Julia Sonntag (Duitsland)
  3. Josine Koning (Netherlands)
  4. Jocelyn Bartram (Australia)
  5. Kelsey Bing (American)

by Hockey.nl

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