Middleton, Jackson up for World awards

It’s a massive week in the world of hockey as the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Congress gets underway in Montreux, Switzerland. 

Among the high profile decisions being made at the gathering will be the winners of the 2010 World Player and Young Player of the Year Awards and the host of the 2014 men’s and women’s World Cups – either England or the Netherlands.

England men’s captain Barry Middleton is up for the World Player of the Year Award.  Middleton led England to fourth place at the 2010 World Cup in Delhi, England’s best World Cup finish on foreign turf, but unfortunately missed out on the Champions Trophy silver medal with a foot injury.  Anyone who was at the Men’s Four Nations Tournament in Nottingham in July will no doubt remember his audacious lob over the Germany goalkeeper Max Weinhold in the final. See it again below.

No Englishman has ever won the Player of the Year Award and it will be tough contest with Australian Jamie Dwyer and Dutchman Teun de Nooijer among the other nominees.  Both have won the award three times before and are going for a record fourth title.  Also on the men’s World Player of the Year shortlist is Germany’s Moritz Furste and Korea’s Jong Ho Seo.

The FIH has compiled a video of for each of the nominees.  See Barry Middleton’s video below.

While no Englishman has previously won the World Player of the Year Award, Ashley Jackson became the first player from these shores to win the World Young Player of the Year title when he picked up the award last year in Australia.  Since then, Ashley has helped England to a best ever World Cup finish on foreign soil - fourth in Delhi in March - and a best ever Champions Trophy result, the silver medal in Monchengladbach in August.  These feats and his high profile goal scoring prowess have earned him a nomination for the Young Player of the Year Award 2010. 

Jackson scored a brace in England’s dramatic Commonwealth Games semi final defeat at the hands of India, unlucky not to grab a hat-trick after crashing a penalty corner flick off the crossbar.  He was a regular scorer in the Dutch Hoofdklasse for HGC last season before returning to East Grinstead, where he has helped them through to round two of the Euro Hockey League.  Also competing for the World Young Player of the Year Award are Tobias Hauke and Florian Fuchs from Germany, New Zealand’s Nick Wilson and Robbert Kemperman from the Netherlands.

See Ashley Jackson’s FIH video below.

The winners of the World Player of the Year and World Young Player of the Year Awards will be announced this Friday on the International Hockey Federation’s website.  Find out more about the awards and see the videos for all of the shortlisted athletes, including the women's Player and Young Player of the Year nominees, on the FIH website here.

Also being announced later this week will be the winning bid to host the 2014 men’s and women’s World Cups.  England Hockey launched its bid on Tuesday 18 October with the support of Boris Johnston, the Mayor of London, and Frank Warren.  Read the bid announcement here and see the BBC’s online coverage here.  The Netherlands is the only other bidding country.  The Dutch hosted the only previous joint World Cup in 1998 in Utrecht.