Eva De Goede
Inframe : Eva De Goede / Photo Credits : Getty Images

The Netherlands superstar has been a long-serving member of the Oranje, winning back-to-back gold medals at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, plus World Cup gold in 2014 and 2018.

Although she has suffered some breaks from international play through injury, the midfielder has always bounced back and seems to be in even finer form now than she was as an 18-year-old in Beijing.

On her debut, as a 17-year-old, de Goede started her career as an international in the best possible way, scoring one goal and setting up another. It is true to say that she has never descended from that stellar beginning.

Having amassed more than 200 caps for the Netherlands and scored 25 goals, de Goede captained the side as they won the 2018 Hockey Champions Trophy in China, picking up Player of the Tournament along the way.

She is now leading the team as they embark on their FIH Pro League campaign. De Goede received her award on the eve of the Netherlands’ FIH Pro League encounter with he USA.

So far, the world number one side has had mixed fortunes in the new league, winning against New Zealand but suffering a 1-0 loss at the hands of Australia.

Losing a match for the first time in nearly a year [the last time was in a test match against Belgium] will serve as a huge incentive for award winners De Goede and Female Coach of the Year Alyson Annan to lead the team back to winning ways.

With her familiar modesty, de Goede’s reaction to being crowned Player of the Year was to shift the attention away from herself and praise her team:

“This award is only possible because I have been lucky to be part of an incredible squad over the years. Ever since I have started playing international hockey, the goal for me, was to always try contribute positively towards the team’s success. You are only ever as good as your team. Which makes this award a huge honour and I am very grateful to receive it. Thank you very much.”