ROCKHAMPTON born and raised Kookaburra Mark Knowles is one of six Australian hockey players nominated for international awards.
Six Australians are in the frame for world hockey's top awards after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced the shortlists for its Player of the Year Awards.
Kookaburras captain Mark Knowles and teammate Eddie Ockenden are nominated on the five man shortlist for International Male Player of the Year while Andrew Charter is in the running for International Male Goalkeeper of the Year and Jeremy Hayward the International Male Rising Star.
Hockeyroos defender Anna Flanagan is on the shortlist for International Female Rising Star while Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch is in the running for International Female Goalkeeper.
The FIH Player of the Year Awards are open to public voting for the first time ever with the five-person shortlists in each category having been determined by a panel of hockey experts. The voting is being conducted through Facebook at Facebook.com/fihockey.
Knowles, Ockenden and Flanagan are all previous winners of the World Young Player of the Year crown - the former name for the Rising Star category. Knowles picked up the title in 2007 with Ockenden following in 2008. Flanagan won the women's young player award in 2012.
This year, Knowles was named Player of the Tournament at the World Cup with Hayward also scooping the Young Player of the Tournament accolade in The Hague. At the women's World Cup, Lynch went home with the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award.
Their nominations are indicative of the success enjoyed by both Australian teams in 2014. The Kookaburras won the World Cup and Commonwealth Games gold medals within five weeks of one another and they returned to the top of the FIH world rankings in January following the World League Finals.
The Hockeyroos have continued their upward trajectory, rising to number two in the world rankings as they picked up the silver medal at the World Cup and Champions Trophy competitions, and gold at the Commonwealth Games. In reaching the final of the Champions Trophy earlier this week they continued an impressive run of form that has seen them reach the final of every major international tournament in which they've competed since December 2012.
Hockey Australia is encouraging Australian sports fans to place their votes at Facebook.com/fihockey.
The results will be announced via the FIH social media channels between 18-23 December.
International Male Player of the Year shortlist
Ashley Jackson (England)
Robert Kemperman (Netherlands)
Mark Knowles (Australia)
Eddie Ockenden (Australia)
Robert Van Der Horst (Netherlands)
International Female Player of the Year
Maartje Paumen (Netherlands)
Lidewij Welten (Netherlands)
Ellen Hoog (Netherlands)
Luciana Aymar (Argentina)
Lauren Crandall (USA)
International Male Goalkeeper of the Year
Juan Vivaldi (Argentina)
Andrew Charter (Australia)
Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh (India)
Jaap Stockmann (Netherlands)
George Pinner (England)
International Female Goalkeeper of the Year
Rachael Lynch (Australia)
Belen Succi (Argentina)
Joyce Sombroek (Netherlands)
Maddie Hinch (England)
Jackie Kintzer (USA)
International Male Rising Star of the Year
Arthur Van Doren (Belgium)
Christopher Ruhr (Germany)
Jeremy Hayward (Australia)
Akashdeep Singh (India)
Gonzalo Pelliat (Argentina)
International Female Rising Star of the Year
Yang Peng (China)
Rani Rampal (India)
Florencia Habif (Argentina)
Anna Flanagan (Australia)
Xan de Waard (Netherlands)
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