Olympians on Tenterhooks for HWC Player of the Year

Ali McGregor (Loughborough Students) and Beth Storry (SCHC Netherlands) have been short-listed for the Hockey Writers’ UK Player of the Year Awards for 2008 following the annual poll conducted amongst British members of the Club.

However, Britain’s custodians at the Beijing Olympics are in fierce competition with four of their fellow Olympians.

Ali McGregor makes a save during the Olympic Qualifying Tournament Final against India in Chile, 2008McGregor’s opposition comes from last year’s winner Barry Middleton, going for a hat-trick of victories, and Ashley Jackson. Both Middleton and Jackson are currently playing for the HGC club in the Netherlands.

Crista Cullen, winner in 2005 and 2006, is also strongly fancied to complete her hat-trick but will face a strong challenge from Sarah Thomas the Welsh star who is also currently playing in the Netherlands with Rotterdam HC.

The winners will be announced and the Awards, in the shape of silver rose bowls, together with cheques for a hockey cause of their choice, will be presented to them at an Awards Lunch at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knights-bridge (Tel 020 7235 2121) on Tuesday 27th January 2009.

The special lunch guest who will do the honours is Lord Colin Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association. At the same lunch, plaques and cheques will be presented to the winners of the Higgins Group UK Youth Awards by Richard Higgins, Chairman of the Group.

The Times Sydney Friskin Memorial Goblet for Outstanding Services to Hockey will also be presented by Neil Friskin (son) accompanied by the newspaper’s Managing Editor,David Chappell.

PREVIOUS WINNERS OF UK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Awarded by the Hockey Writers’ Club

1983 Margaret Gleghorne Paul Barber
1984 Karen Brown Richard Leman
1985 Linda Carr Sean Kerly MBA
1986 Moira McLeod Ian Taylor
1987 Violet McBride Imran Sherwani
1988 Barbara Hambly OBE Jon Potter
1989 Vickey Dixon David Faulkner
1990 Maggie Souyave Andy Halliday
1991 Joanne Thompson Jason Laslett
1992 Jane Sixsmith MBE Rob Hill
1993 Sandie Lister Julian Halls
1994 Karen Brown Simon Mason
1995 Tammy Miller Ian Jennings MBE
1996 Kathryn Johnson Bobby Crutchley
1997 Karen Brown Jon Wyatt
1998 Carolyn Reid David Hacker
1999 Christina Cullen Chris Ashcroft
2000 Jane Sixsmith MBE Mark Pearn
2001 Jane Smith Danny Hall
2002 Leisa King Robert Todd
2003 Kate Walsh Simon Mason
2004 Christina Cullen Barry Middleton
2005 Crista Cullen Jonathan Ebsworth
2006 Crista Cullen James Tindall
2007 Kate Walsh Barry Middleton