Two of Australia’s best have capped off exceptional seasons by being awarded the Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2022 Women’s and Men’s Most Valuable Players.
HC Melbourne and Hockeyroos midfielder Amy Lawton was named the Women’s MVP after a stellar season.
The Men’s MVP was awarded to Canberra Chill and Kookaburras goalkeeper Andrew Charter.
The duo were presented with their awards by Hockey One League Chair Carolyn Campbell after the Women’s and Men’s Grand Finals respectively.
For Lawton, the award caps off an outstanding individual campaign and reinforces her reputation as one of the bona fide stars of Australian women’s hockey.
The 20 year old was instrumental in HC Melbourne finishing on top of the ladder at the end of the regular season.
“It’s super special to win an award like this. Individual accolades are the cherry on top,” said Lawton.
“It has been a great tournament this year…there are so many amazing players in Australia and the Hockey One League really showcases that.
“Without my team I wouldn’t have the opportunity to win this award so I’m really grateful and love playing with them.”
“We (HC Melbourne) had a great campaign…it was disappointing not to be in the grand final but to play in Melbourne with girls that you play against in the local leagues has been really enjoyable.”
At 35, Charter showed he’s still at the peak of his powers in a Canberra Chill team that only lost one match during the regular season.
With the Hockey One League’s unique conversion rule that allows a player who scores from open play the chance to score a second goal in a one on one with the goalkeeper, coupled with every drawn match going to a shootout, goalkeepers are in the spotlight even more.
Charter, who is preparing for the Kookaburras’ upcoming series against India in Adelaide followed by next January’s World Cup, credited his Chill teammates for helping his cause this season.
“A lot of boys played well in our team this year…so this award is for our group,” said Charter.
“Individual accolades are great, particular in goalkeeping…the guys in front of me make it what it is and they did a great job this season.
“The way they defended allowed me to make saves from good positions. I would have preferred to have been vying for the bigger trophy on grand final day but this is a nice honour to be given.”
The MVPs were decided by an expert panel and were announced after the Women’s and Men’s 2022 Grand Finals.
Canberra Chill defender Shihori Oikawa and Tassie Tigers’ Eddie Ockenden were the MVPs in the inaugural season in 2019.