Saturday, December 9, 2023

Alyson Annan: My top five women’s hockey players of all time

Having seen them play, played alongside, against or coached, our columnist has whittled a powerhouse list down to her top five women’s players. It was no easy task

Without considering any sort of qualifying elements that must be met to make a top 20 to then reduce to a top five, I have just looked back over the years and chosen players that left an impression on me both on and off the field.

The players that gave me a moment where I took a breath, special moments that have left an imprint on me. So, I am not only choosing players that are the flashiest or most impressive on the field. I looked at players who I would have like to have had in my team as a teammate or coach, whom had an impact on me.  

There will be undoubtedly players that several you will question, but, hey, these are my top five.    

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  1. We are all biased towards the players we have been fortunate to see more of, but it would be Luciana Aymar for me. It is rare at the highest level that a player stands out from those around them. At her peak Luciana Aymar seemed like an adult playing with children. Untouchable. Others may have produced short spells of that type of brilliance in a game or even a tournament, but she sustained that level for years. For me only Shabhaz Ahmed compares. Special mention should of course go to Alyson Annan. She was the driving force of an all conquering Australian side who dominated the game for an extended period which included a home Olympic Games. I suspect almost every impartial observer would have her close to the top of this list.

  2. Shahbaz Ahmed is a worthy mention. The 1st goal he created in the final of the world cup 1990 against Holland was reminiscent of the Holland vs Germany football world cup 1974 final. His deciding goal against Australia in the 1994 world cup quarterfinal is one of the greatest goals in hockey history.


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