Richardson and Danson World All Stars

England and Great Britain internationals Helen Richardson and Alex Danson have been named in the 2011 FIH World All Stars team.

The Reading pair were recognised by hockey fans worldwide, who have been voting on the International Hockey Federation website over the past fortnight.

Alex Danson comes under pressure from Sophie Polkamp of the Netherlands at the 2011 EuroHockey Nations Championships

With 375 international appearances between them, 26 year old Danson (above) and 30 year old Richardson (below) have been integral to the recent successes of the national team.  In 2011 they were part of the England team that finished fifth at the Champions Trophy - qualifying Great Britain for the 2012 tournament - and played key roles in England's European bronze medal win in Monchengladbach in August.  Richardson's two goals in the final match against Spain won the bronze medal for England.  Both have been selected for the Great Britain team to compete at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Rosario at the end of January.

England vs Ireland Helen Richardson

Everyone at England Hockey is delighted for Helen and Alex, whose selection is fantastic recognition for the efforts of them, their teammates and the coaching and support staff. 

See the FIH All Stars team below and read the full press release further down the page. 

Twitter logoAnd why not follow Helen and Alex on Twitter.  Follow Helen at @h_richardson8 and Alex at @AlexDanson15.

FIH All Stars 2011 – Women:
 
Goalkeepers
 Yvonne Frank (GER)
 Joyce Sombroek (NED)
 
Defenders
 Willemijn Bos (NED)
 Julia Müller (GER)
 Noel Barrionuevo (ARG)
 Kobie McGurk (AUS)
 Katelyn Falgowski (USA)
 
Midfielders
 Luciana Aymar (ARG)
 Helen Richardson (ENG)
 Maartje Paumen (NED)
 Gemma Flynn (NZL)
 Kim Da Rae (KOR)
 
Forwards
 Alex Danson (ENG)
 Natascha Keller (GER)
 Carla Rebecchi (ARG)
 Soledad Garcia (ARG)
 Anita Punt (NZL)
 Pietie Coetzee (RSA)
 
Coaches   
 Mark Hager (AUS), Coach of New Zealand
 Max Caldas (ARG), Coach of The Netherlands

FIH World All Stars Announcement in full

The FIH is delighted to announce the All-Stars for 2011, which feature a total of 36 players and four coaches who have lit up the hockey world over the past 12 months with their achievements.
 
The squads – which were decided by public vote on the FIH Website between 12th and 21st December – feature a number of players who have been regularly named in the All-Stars, such as six times nominees Jamie Dwyer (AUS), Teun de Nooijer (NED) and Luciana Aymar (ARG). Astonishingly, these three superstars have also collected a staggering fifteen FIH Player of the Year titles over the years, so it is no surprise that they have been ever-presents since the annual All-Stars came into existence in 2006.
 
However, these iconic players are far from being the only high achievers in the All-Stars. Brilliant Germany striker Natascha Keller has made the list for a fifth time, having missed the cut just once since 2006. Netherlands penalty corner expert Maartje Paumen is another regular on the women’s list, making the All-Stars for the fourth time following fine midfield displays as her team won Gold at the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy and the Euro Hockey Nations Championships. Consistently excellent England and Great Britain midfielder Helen Richardson has also been rewarded with a third successive appearance in the All-Stars, as is Argentina defender Noel Barrionuevo.  Fellow Argentine Carla Rebecchi also makes the list for the third time following appearances in 2010 and 2008. Soledad Garcia (ARG), Gemma Flynn (NZL) and goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek (NED) make the All-Stars for the second time.
 
On the men’s side, midfielders Eddie Ockenden (AUS) and Moritz Fürste (GER) both notch up their fourth appearances in the All-Stars, while Fürste’s team-mate Max Müller and dazzling Spanish striker Santi Freixa – named Player of the Tournament at the recent Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy – both make the grade for a third time.  India’s Sardar Singh achieves the accolade for the second successive year, as do Tobias Hauke (GER), Lucas Vila (ARG) and Nick Wilson (NZL). 
 
As well as these more familiar names, a number of other gifted individuals have made the All-Stars for the very first time. The fine form of Germany goalkeeper Yvonne Frank has been rewarded with a coveted place in the All-Stars where she is accompanied by her team-mate Julia Müller, who has excelled in defence for her country over the last 12 months. Netherlands youngster Willemijn Bos continues her rapid rise to stardom by also claiming a place amongst the defenders where she is joined by fellow first-timers Kobie McGurk (AUS) and Katelyn Falgowski (USA). Kim Da Rae is another newcomer to the All-Stars following a number of superb displays in midfield for Korea. Lively attackers Alex Danson (ENG) and Anita Punt (NZL) have been named amongst the forwards, alongside remarkable South African Pietie Coetzee, who this year became hockey’s all time top goal-scorer when she surpassed the previous mark of 220 set by Russia’s Natalya Krasnikova some 20 years ago.
 
Of the 18 strong men’s All-Star squad, seven players are there for the first time. Max Weinhold makes it an impressive double for German goalkeepers, joining Yvonne Frank in the 2011 All-Stars. Weinhold is accompanied by Belgium’s David van Rysselberghe, who sparkled in goal for his country as they finished fourth at the EuroHockey Nations Championships before winning the FIH Champions Challenge in South Africa at the beginning of December. Felix Denayer is another Belgian international on the list, having been a defensive rock for his team during their magnificent year. Wouter Jolie (NED), Ramon Alegre (ESP) and 2011 FIH Young Player of the Year Matthew Swann (AUS) have also made the list for the first time after consistently superb performances for their respective nations in 2011. Tom Boon (BEL) and Florian Fuchs (GER) – two of the hottest young talents in the game – have both been given the recognition that they deserve thanks to the public vote.
 
As well as the players, the public also had their chance to vote for the coaches that have impressed the most this year. Netherlands women’s coach Max Caldas makes the list after a stunning year in which his team won Gold at the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy and the EuroHockey Nations Championships. He is joined by Mark Hager, the Australian who guided New Zealand’s Black Sticks to a first ever Bronze medal at the Champions Trophy before masterminding victory in the Oceania Cup.  
 
As well as three players making the All-Stars in 2011, Belgium’s fantastic year has been further recognized by the inclusion of coach Colin Batch, the Australian tactician who saw his team achieve Olympic qualification and win the recent FIH Champions Challenge with a sensational 4-3 victory over India. Ireland’s South African coach Paul Revington also makes the list after his young team made huge strides forward this year, including an above-ranking fifth place finish at the EuroHockey Nations Championships.
 
The complete All Stars for 2011 can be found below.

FIH All Stars 2011 – Women:
 
Goalkeepers
 Yvonne Frank (GER)
 Joyce Sombroek (NED)
 
Defenders
 Willemijn Bos (NED)
 Julia Müller (GER)
 Noel Barrionuevo (ARG)
 Kobie McGurk (AUS)
 Katelyn Falgowski (USA)
 
Midfielders
 Luciana Aymar (ARG)
 Helen Richardson (ENG / GBR)
 Maartje Paumen (NED)
 Gemma Flynn (NZL)
 Kim Da Rae (KOR)
 
Forwards
 Alex Danson (ENG)
 Natascha Keller (GER)
 Carla Rebecchi (ARG)
 Soledad Garcia (ARG)
 Anita Punt (NZL)
 Pietie Coetzee (RSA)
 
Coaches   
 Mark Hager (AUS), Coach of New Zealand
 Max Caldas (ARG), Coach of The Netherlands
 

FIH All Stars 2011 - Men:
 
Goalkeepers
 David van Rysselberghe (BEL)
 Max Weinhold (GER)
 
Defenders
 Felix Denayer (BEL)
 Max Müller (GER)
 Ramon Alegre (ESP)
 Wouter Jolie (NED)
 Matthew Swann (AUS)
 
Midfielders
 Tobias Hauke (GER)
 Moritz Fürste (GER)
 Sardar Singh (IND)
 Teun de Nooijer (NED)
 Eddie Ockenden (AUS)
 
Forwards
 Tom Boon (BEL)
 Florian Fuchs (GER)
 Jamie Dwyer (AUS)
 Nick Wilson (NZL)
 Lucas Vila (ARG)
 Santi Freixa (ESP)
 
Coaches   
 Colin Batch (AUS), Coach of Belgium
 Paul Revington (RSA), Coach of Ireland

Visit the FIH website at www.fih.ch.