India’s young midfielder Vivek Prasad was announced as 2019 FIH men’s rising star of the year, hockey’s international governing body announced on Monday.
The 19-year-old won the accolade ahead of Argentina’s Maico Casella and Blake Govers of Australia, who finished second and third respectively.
When he took to the field in a Four Nations Invitational tournament in January 2018, Prasad was the second youngest player ever to represent the India national team, being just 17 at the time. Since then he has appeared for the senior side on nearly 60 occasions.
2019 was a busy year for India. They took silver at the Sultan Aslan Shah Cup, losing on shoot-out to Korea in the final. Vivek scored two goals in the course of that tournament.
The two most important events in the India men’s team calendar were the FIH Series Finals and the subsequent FIH Olympic Qualifiers. In the Series Finals, India beat off all opposition in the pool round to set up a meeting with South Africa in the final. They won 5-1 and Prasad made his way onto the scoresheet with a neatly taken goal. He was voted best young player of the tournament. The result meant India were one step away from Olympic qualification.
Russia was the team standing in the team’s path but a 4-2 and 7-1 victory saw India seal their spot at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Prasad didn’t score in those matches but was an integral part of Head Coach Graham Reid’s team.
Hockey India also congratulated Prasad on winning the award.
“I congratulate Vivek for winning the prestigious FIH Rising Star of the Year award. He has transitioned into the senior team well and has been effective in the mid-field carrying out his duties as expected,” HI president Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said.
1st place: Vivek Prasad (IND)
- 50% of all National Association votes
- 23% of all Media votes
- 15.1% of all Fans/Players votes
- 34.5% of all combined votes
2nd place: Maico Casella (ARG)
- 15.1% of the National Associations votes
- 13.5% of the Media votes
- 44% of the Fans / Players votes
- 22% of all combined votes
3rd place: Blake Govers (AUS)
- 10.6% of the National Associations votes
- 47.3% of the Media votes
- 15% of the Fans / Players votes
- 20.9% of all combined votes