By Barry Newcombe
The Hockey Writersâ€™ Club has chosen Barry Middleton, the 24-year-old Great Britain and England midfield player, and Kate Walsh, the England and Slough defender, as its Players of the Year.
The awards follow an annual poll of HWC members. Both players have been recipients of the award before – Middleton in 2004 and Walsh in 2003.
The presentations to the two players were made at a HWC lunch at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London by Richard Leman, the new president of the Great Britain Olympic Hockey Board, and the winner of the Player of the Year award in 1984.
Walsh has played 52 times for Great Britain and 135 times for England. Middleton has played for Great Britain 54 times and 100 times for England.
The Hockey Writers voted for Bill Felton, president of the East Regional Hockey Association and chairman of England Hockeyâ€™s Youth Trust, to receive the Sydney Friskin Memorial Silver Goblet for outstanding service to the sport.
Sophie Bray, of Tiffin Girlsâ€™ School, and Liam Doidge, of Old Loughtonians, were selected as Higgins Group youth personalities of the year.
Hockey Writersâ€™ Club chairman Pat Rowley completed his second period in the chair and is succeeded by Peter Savage of TalkHockeyradio.com.