Netherlands’ Stephan Veen, Australia’s Alyson Annan selected first-ever FIH Players of the Year

10/27/99 -- Alexandria, Egypt

Alexandria, Egypt Stephan Veen of the Netherlands and Alyson Annan of Australia were announced tonight as the first-ever recipients of the International Hockey Federation’s Player of the Year Awards during a dinner held here commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the FIH. The Player of the Year trophies, which were presented by FIH President, Juan Angel Calzado, are specially commissioned bronze statues depicting a male and female hockey player in action.

Alyson Annan, already widely regarded as the top female hockey player in the world, has been a key contributor to the many championships won by the Australian women’s hockey team in recent years. Her credits include four Champions Trophy gold medals, two World Cup gold medals, one Olympic gold medal and one Commonwealth Games gold medal.

In addition to her contributions to the Australian team effort, Alyson Annan has earned numerous individual honours over the years. She was the top goal scorer at the 1999 Champions Trophy, as well as at the 1998 World Cup where she was selected as Player of the Tournament.

Stephan Veen, captain of the Dutch men’s team national since September 1996, also has a long list of Championships to his credit. Veen has earned two Olympic gold medals, three World Cup gold medals, a remarkable 10 Champions Trophy gold medals and two European Championships.

His performance during the 1998 men’s World Cup finals against Spain, in which the Dutch men captured the title in extra time, clearly demonstrated the key characteristics embodied in the Player of the Year Award. With his team losing by two goals to none with a little more than 10 minutes to play, Veen scored Holland’s first goal of the match, and then urged his team on, willing and inspiring them to win.

Stephan Veen was unfortunately unable to be present to accept his award in person due to family considerations, but it was accepted on his behalf by a representative of the Royal Dutch Hockey Association.

The FIH International Player of the Year Awards were created to recognise the outstanding achievements and character of international hockey’s top male and female players. In addition to accomplishments on the field of play, other key qualities were taken into account. Nominees were judged on the following criteria: commitment to success, discipline, leadership, contribution to the development of hockey, technique and skill, influence on team performance and personality.

The Players of the Year are certainly outstanding and deserving hockey players and athletes, said Mr. Calzado in announcing the winners. But hockey skill alone would not be enough to earn such a high honour. More than that, our wish was that the FIH Players of the Year not only be outstanding athletes, but outstanding individuals in many aspects. We wanted them to represent the many high ideals which the sport of hockey embraces and supports.

All FIH National Associations were asked to submit nominations for athletes to be considered for the award. A selection panel, chaired by FIH Honorary Secretary General Els van Breda Vriesman and consisting of members of the Athletes’ Panel, the media, coaches and umpires, evaluated the nominations to arrive at the winners.

Recognition was also given to Malta’s David Agius, a member of the FIH Athletes’ Panel, for his role in co-ordinating the inaugural awards programme.

26th October 1999

Issued by the FIH
Mary Coyle, Communications Manager
+32 2 219 4537 (phone)
+32 2 219 2761 (fax)
In Egypt (until 27th October) 20 3 547 3500
e-mail: [email protected]

Alyson Annan (CALDAS) OAM

   photo 1   photo 2

Nickname: Al
Birthplace: Campbelltown, NSW
Date of Birth: 21 June 1973
Place of residence: Sydney, NSW
Starsign: Gemini
National League Team: NSW Balsam Pacific Arrows
Position: Forward
Occupation: Computer Operator
When started playing hockey: Age 10
Why started playing hockey: Like the concept of a team sport
International caps:192
International goals:143
Career high: Gold Medal Atlanta Olympic Games 1996
Career low: Barcelona Olympic Games 1992 & Silver Medal Junior World Cup 1993
Greatest influence on sporting career: Beth Shea
Sportsperson most admired: Steffi Graf
Goals; Long term: Olympic Games 2000
Strengths: Passing
Weaknesses: Tackling
Advice for young players: Have Fun

Alyson was first selected in the Australian team in June 1991 to play in a Test Series against Korea in Hobart and Melbourne. She was a member of the victorious NSW Arrows in the 1993, ’96 & ‘98 Telstra Stix Series National Hockey League and was also named 1996 and 1997 Telstra Player of the Year. Alyson was also named player of the series at the 1998 World Cup in Utrecht as well as being the top goal scorer at the tournament. She made the history books at the 1998 Commonwealth Games when she became Australia’a highest ever goal scorer with 110 goals. Alyson added to her international status by also top scoring at the 1999 Champions Trophy in Brisbane. Widely regarded as the best player in the world, Alyson has mesmerising elimination and passing skills, capable of cutting open any opposition. She can sink a ball into the net with any stroke from any position.

Major Tournaments:
1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain: 5th Place
1993 Junior World Cup (Vice Captain) Barcelona, Spain: Silver
1993 Champions Trophy Amsterdam, Holland: Gold
1994 8th World Cup Dublin Ireland: Gold
1995 Champions Trophy Mar Del Plata, Argentina: Gold
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, USA: Gold
1996 6th Indira Gandhi Gold Cup New Delhi, India: Gold
1997 Champions Trophy (Co-Vice) Berlin, Germany :Gold
1998 9th World Cup Utrecht, Netherlands: Gold
1998 Commonwealth Kuala Lumpur: Gold
1999 Champions Trophy Brisbane, Queensland: Gold

Information provided by Women’s Hockey Australia.

Stephan Veen (Netherlands)

Name: Stephan Veen
Date of birth: 27 July 1970
City of birth: Groningen
Domicile: Amsterdam

Study: Economics
Profession: Rabo Securities
Clubs: Doetinchem, Upward, HGC
Caps: 245 (won 152, lost 49, draw 44, captain since september 1996)
Goals: 100
Position: Right midfield
Club achievements: National Champion ’90, ’96 (HGC)

Gold medals: Olympic Games ’92, ’96,
World Cup ’90, ’94, ’98
European Cup ’91, ’95
Champions Trophy ’89, ‘90’, 91’, ’92, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’99
Intercontinental Cup ’89

Strong points: technical skills, almost invisible acceleration, leadership qualities (off and on the pitch)

Information provided by the Royal Dutch Hockey Association

Photos by Peter Luck

Copyright © 1999 International Hockey Federation
Last modified: 10/27/99