Both Savita Punia of India and PR Sreejesh of India have been selected as the FIH Goalkeepers of the Year 2021-22.
Savita, the Indian women’s hockey team’s staunch goalkeeper, has been instrumental in the team’s numerous achievements this year. Savita was phenomenal in net for India, making save after save that befuddled and stunned the opposition. She was nominated for the FIH Hockey Stars Award for best goalie, but garnered almost twice as many votes as the next closest nominee.
Savita’s goalkeeping is a big reason why India won, but she’s also a key player in the squad as a whole. She’s the backbone of the Indian defense and recently took over as captain when Rani Rampal, the team’s star player, was out for most of the previous year with an injury.
Savita’s incredible 57 saves in 14 games played were a major factor in India’s third-place finish in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22 in their first season. Even better than before, she continued to grow in the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup, when she made several spectacular saves to help India and England play to a 1-1 draw in the group stage. Her performance in the crossover match against Spain was equally spectacular, as she made seven saves that had onlookers scratching their heads.
FIH Goalkeeper of the Year
Savita once again motivated her team as India snapped a 16-year podium drought at the Commonwealth Games. This came after India had what they considered to be a dismal World Cup performance. The Indian women’s team finally won a medal after a long drought because to Savita’s excellent performance in the bronze medal match against New Zealand, which featured many game-winning saves in the shootout.
Goalkeeper of the Year (women)
|Jocelyn Bartram||Josine Koning||Phumelela Mbande||Savita||Belén Succi|
Since the award’s debut in 2014, Savita has been the first person to win it back-to-back times. She finished first this year with 37.6 points, making her just the third athlete to do so. Argentine icon Belén Succi came in second with 26.4 points, while Hockeyroos veteran Jocelyn Bartam took third with 16.
PR Sreejesh, an Indian goalkeeper who is now 34 years old, has defied conventional wisdom by maintaining a high level of performance throughout his career. Sreejesh, now in his 16th year as a full international for India, has repeatedly shown his worth to the squad. He was a vital contributor to India’s third-place performance in the FIH Hockey Pro League and the silver medal victory at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Sreejesh made his 250th international appearance for India during the season, making him just the eighth Indian player and the first goalie to reach that milestone. Sreejesh, a senior team member, serves a dual role: on the field, he is the loud leader, leading his troops from the rear of the defense; off the field, he is the player who arranges the finest gatherings and celebrations, according to his colleagues.
Goalkeeper of the Year (men)
|Pirmin Blaak||Loic Van Doren||PR Sreejesh||Alexander Stadler||Arthur Thieffry|
Sreejesh has won the FIH Goalie of the Year title for two years in a row, making him just the third goalkeeper to do so. The Irishman David Harte won the prize twice in 2015 and 2016, while the Belgian Vincent Vanasch won it three times in a row from 2017 to 2019. Sreejesh came out on top with 39.9 percentage of the vote, followed by Loic van Doren of Belgium in second with 26.3% and Primin Blaak of the Netherlands in third with 23.2%.