2000 FIH Player of the Year Awards - Annan and Veen win again

click on the player photo to see a brief video clip

Alyson Annan (AUS) and Stephan Veen (NED) were announced as the winners of the 2000 FIH Player of the Year Awards. Both have now won the Awards for the second time, the previous occasion being the inaugural awards in 1998 in Alexandria.

The 2000 Awards were presented during the FIH Congress in Paris, which was hosted by the French Hockey Federation, celebrating their 80th Anniversary, as one of the founder members of the FIH. Both players were thrilled to have won this prestigious Award for the second time. Commenting in an interview after the presentation, Annan, 27, said that she was excited to receive the award in front of such an international audience, as it capped her year after winning the Olympic gold on home soil - "winning the FIH Player of the Year for a second time was more difficult, as everyone else trains that much harder in an Olympic Year".

Stephan Veen, the Dutch captain, scored four goals in the Olympic Final in Sydney, including the last penalty stroke, which gave the Netherlands their title. Asked how he felt about this, 30 year old Stephan said, "It was the other members of the team who selected the order with which the penalties were taken and as I had taken the fourth penalty in the semi-final, I didn't really feel any extra pressure. I did, though, enjoy the celebrations on the pitch afterwards". Stephan Veen is now retiring from international hockey and although his leadership qualities on the field will be sorely missed, the Award is an excellent way of capping his career, spanning over 12 years.

The FIH President, Juan Angel Calzado, presented the trophies to the winners. Commenting, he said, "Alyson and Stephan are an excellent advertisement for hockey and this prestigious Award is the result of their hard work and dedication to our sport".

The final International Player of the Year nominations were as follows: Women: Alyson Annan 37 points, followed in second place by Mandy Smith (NZL) with 29 and Luciana Aymar (ARG) with 27. In the men's title, Stephan Veen obtained 30 points, followed by Sohail Abbas (PAK) and Baljit Dhillon Singh (IND) both with 22 points.

Selection Panel Members
Pat Rowley (ENG), S. Thyagaran (IND), Ray O'Connor (IRL), Maurits Hendriks (NED), Khalid Hussain (PAK) and Marelize de Klerk (RSA)

Past winners

? Men ??? Women
1998 -? Stephan Veen (Ned) ? Alyson Annan (Aus)
1999 -? Jay Stacy (Aus) ? Natascha Keller (Ger)

Competition Winners

  1. Belen Huerta
  2. Errol D'Cruz
  3. Rene Edwards
  4. Derek Field
  5. Sascha Tamarinof

Congratulations to all the winners who guessed correctly that Stephan Veen and Alyson Annan would be the FIH International Players of the Year 2000.