County News: Sussex's Hinch grabs world's best goalkeeper gong for second year running
Sussex's Maddie Hinch has added another sparkling accolade to her collection by being named the best female goalkeeper in the world for the second year running.
The Great Britain and England player was named the FIH Female Goalkeeper of the Year at an awards ceremony in Berlin last night.
The 29-year-old Olympic gold medalist beat Netherlands stopper Anne Veenendaal, Aisling D’Hooghe from Belgium, USA’s Jackie Briggs and Dongxiao Li of China, to the gong, which was determined by a peer and public vote.
Hinch, who is from West Chiltington, paid tribute to her coaches and team-mates after landing the prestigious award and revealed she never dreamed of winning it for a second time.
She said: "I was overwhelmed by the nomination to be honest! To win last year was such a special moment in my career, so to go on and win it for a second consecutive year is just something I never imagined.
"It means a huge amount to me but I couldn't have won it without the support of the people I have around me. I'm surrounded by the most incredible squad of team mates and coaches at Great Britain hockey and they give me the confidence every day to just get out there and perform.
"I'm extremely grateful to them and everyone else who has played a part in my journey so far."
Her 2017 saw the stopper help England to bronze at the EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam and the semi-finals of the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in July.
Hinch's Rio Olympic heroics saw her first win the award back in 2016. Her show-stealing shoot-out display helped Team GB to gold with a 2-0 penalty victory over the Netherlands and become the first-ever female Brits to win gold in hockey.
This year England compete at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, before hosting the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup at Lee Valley in London this summer.