Dec 30, 2012

Indian hockey's annual awards

Another year comes to an end, and for Indian hockey, it certainly was not a good one with India losing legends and performing really bad in the biggest stage of all, the Olympics. Despite poor performance this year, it is our duty to award outstanding (and not so outstanding) players of Indian hockey.
There are no prizes for the winners, just the satisfaction of knowing you have impressed one big Indian hockey fan, critic and blogger whose job is to cover highs and lows of Indian hockey.

So here are our first annual Indian hockey awards-
Goalkeeper of the year

Goalkeeper of the year 

Nominations: Bharat Chetri, PR Sreejesh, PT Rao and Sushant Tirkey 

Winner: PR Sreejesh

He faced tough competition from others but Sreejesh comes out on top to become our goalkeeper of the year. No, he is not Jaap Stockmann when it comes to goalkeeping but his consistent performance over the year (he was always 7-8 out of 10) makes him our goalkeeper of the year. 

Runner Up- PT Rao’s performance in Champions Trophy in the absence of Sreejesh was mind blowing.

Defender of the year  

Nominations: Sandeep Singh, V Raghunath, Amit Rohidas, Harbir Singh

Winner: V Raghunath

India's best defender
The year 2012 will also be known in which Raghunath finally fulfilled his promise and became a defender to replace Dilip Tirkey. His performance is one the reason why India qualified for the Olympics and reached the semi-finals of Champions Trophy. After playing second fiddle to Sandeep Singh, Raghunath finally came out of Sandeep’s shadow became India’s top choice defender and penalty corner expert.

Runner Up- Harpal Singh from WSH. He is not in the list of nominations, but his performance in the World Series Hockey forces us to give him second spot.

Midfielder of the year 

Nominations: Sardara Singh, Manpreet Singh, SK Uthappa, Biren Lakra, Kothajit Singh

Winner: Sardara Singh

Actually, it’s a no brainer; there was no other player in the Indian team who did what Sardara Singh did the whole year. During attack, he was supporting the forward line and while defending, he was with the defender saving the goal. Game after game, you see Sardara Singh standing call and leading the team. It’s a fact- When Sardara Singh plays well, India plays well.

Runner Up- In Manpreet Singh, India finally has a player to rely on in the absence of Sardara Singh.

Striker of the year

Nominations: Shivendra Singh, Gurwinder Chandi, SV Sunil, Danish, Dharamvir Singh

Winner: SV Sunil

Striker of the year
India has many good strikers in its ranks, but no one reached the height of SV Sunil this year. He wins the award hands down just because of his work rate. Even with injuries, he has given more than 100% in every game and created many goal scoring chances for India. His speed and creativity is another factor that makes him our striker of the year.

Runner Up- Gurwinder Singh Chandi’s is one Indian player to watch out after playing brilliantly in 2012.

Young player of the year

Nominations:SK Uthappa, Manpreet Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nithin Thimmiah, PT Rao

Winner: Manpreet Singh
Rising star of Indian hockey

Manpreet Singh has been with the team for couple of years but it’s under Michael Nobbs, his true value came out. Manpreet Singh has been instrumental with his performances and has the ability to marshal the team in the absence of Sardara Singh. Hockey fans should track this young player, because very soon he will become best Indian player.

Runner Up- Nithing Thimmiah made his debut before the Olympics and his play in Champions Trophy did help Indian team.

Player of the Year

Nominations: SV Sunil, Raghunath, Sardara Singh

Winner: Sardara Singh

Standing tall- Sardara Singh
The only Indian to make it into FIH all star team for last two years, Sardara Singh is our Indian player of the year. His stellar performance in the year has helped India recover after poor performance in the Olympics (where he was our best player). With Sardara in the team, India can hope that better days will come. 

Runner Up- SV Sunil gave him a tough fight to become player of the year, but he could not compete with Sardara Singh.

Dud of the Year

Nominations: Tushar Khandekar, Bharat Chetri, Sandeep Singh, Gurbaj Singh

Winner: Sandeep Singh

Sandeep failed to live up to expectations
Well we never wanted to have this category of awards but some really pathetic performances compelled us to make his category. And Sandeep Singh, who was the biggest disappointment in the year 2012, wins this award. Sandeep Singh performed well against low ranked oppositions but as soon as decent opposition came, he performance deteriorated. From Indian hockey’s biggest asset, Sandeep Singh became a big liability of the team

Runner Up- Gurbaj Singh is one player who was never able to fulfil his promise. Touted to be next Arjun Halappa, he failed to cement his place in the squad and was axed after the Olympics.

With this category we are at the end of the annual awards. Do you agree with our picks? Let us now by leaving us a comment below