India’s men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh has been nominated by the International Hockey Federation for its Player of the Year award. The midfielder has been a vital cog in the Indian side in the past few years, and has amassed 242 international appearances for his country.
Manpreet captained the side in their Olympic qualification games against Russia, a set of games that India won convincingly to seal their spot for the forthcoming Summer Olympic Games. Manpreet was also at the helm of affairs during India’s tour of Belgium, where the team remained undefeated throughout the series.
The other nominees for the FIH Player of the Year award are Australians Eddie Ockenden and Aran Zalewski, Argentina’s Lucas Vila and Belgians Victor Wegnez and Arthur Van Doren. All of these competitors have been in the pink of form in the recent past, with the Australian duo part of the squad that won the FIH Pro League in 2019.
Argentina’s Vila was part of the team that won gold at the 2019 Pan American Games, while the Belgian duo were part of their side’s 2018 World Cup triumph.
Vivek Prasad, Lalremsiami also nominated
19-year-old Vivek Sagar Prasad of India picked up a nomination in the FIH Rising Star of the Year category. Despite his tender years, the midfielder from Madhya Pradesh has represented India 43 times at senior level. Vivek Prasad was also part of the Indian squad when they eased past Russia in their Olympic qualifier games.
Prasad’s competitors in that category will be Maico Casella of Argentina, Blake Govers of Australia, Zachary Wallace of Great Britain and Jonas de Geus of the Netherlands.
In women’s hockey, teenage sensation Lalremsiami is nominated for the FIH Rising Star category. The 19-year-old was part of the Indian side when they won a silver medal at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires and also played in the 2018 Asian Games.
The other women’s hockey stars who have won nominations in that category are Racheal Lynch (Australia), Maria Ruiz (Spain), Mathilde Petriaux (France) and Ayeisha McFerran (Ireland).
"Votes from national associations -- which will include some international athletes and coaches votes -- will count for 50 percent of the overall result, while fans and players (25 percent) as well as media (25 percent) will make the other half of the votes," the FIH said in a release.
Voting will end of January 17, 2020 and the winner in each category will be announced in February. Fans can vote here.