Once a year, the world association FIH (International Hockey Federation) presents the “FIH Hockey Star Awards” to the best female hockey player, the best female goalkeeper and the best goalkeeper in the world. German national hockey players were nominated in all four categories. Julia Sonntag (national goalkeeper), Sonja Zimmermann (national team captain), Jean-Paul Danneberg (national goalkeeper) and Niklas Wellen (national player) made it into the last five in their category. On December 19, 2023, the FIH will announce the world goalkeeper and player of the year. Fans can still vote for their players of the year until December 11, 2023 and help the German national players win the most valuable individual award in hockey.
#Start: November 17, 2023
#Deadline: December 11, 2023
#Only one vote is allowed per category.
#The allocation of weights for each voting group determines the final score for each nominee as follows:
Expert Panel: 40%
National Associations (= national coaches and team captains of each national team, men and women): 20%
Fans and other players: 20%
Media: 20 %
#The winners will be announced approximately one week after voting closes.
For the second time in a row, Niklas Wellen has been nominated for FIH Player of the Year. Last year it wasn’t quite enough for the most valuable individual award in hockey and Wellen had to give way to the Indian Harmanpreet Singh. But this year, Niklas Wellen has the world championship title from spring 2023, to which he contributed significantly with seven goals. The story of how he became a father in the second World Cup group game against Belgium deeply touched many hockey fans. Later he even welcomed his first son with a gold medal in his hands. After Florian Kunz, Michael Green, Moritz Fürste and Tobias Hauke, Niklas Wellen could become the fifth German world hockey player.
Only 24 years young and already experienced so much. Sonja Zimmermann can not only look back on three European Championships, one World Championships and one Olympic participation. Along with Nike Lorenz, Sonja Zimmermann is also the captain of the German women’s hockey team. At the last home European Championships in Mönchengladbach, she and her team won the bronze medal and was the second best goalscorer in the European Championships with five tournament goals. After Natascha Keller, she can become the second German FIH player of the year.
It was the decisive penalty in the World Cup final in Bhubaneswar against Belgium that gave Germany the world championship title and crowned Jean-Paul Danneberg a hero. In the quarter-finals against England, the then 20-year-old came on as a substitute for the penalty shootout and shone straight away. At the home European Championship in Mönchengladbach in August 2023, he was allowed to be in the starting line-up as the starting goalkeeper and proved himself again. At the end of the tournament, Danneberg was voted goalkeeper of the tournament. Jean-Paul Danneberg could become the first German to win the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award, which has only been awarded since 2014.
One goal conceded in five games at the EuroHockey Championships 2023 in Mönchengladbach. (Almost) nobody came past Julia Sonntag at the home European Championships in the hockey park. No other goalkeeper conceded as few goals at the European Championships as the 32-year-old. Julia Sonntag could become the first German to win the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award, which has only been awarded since 2014.
by DHB Magazin