These goalkeepers have the safest pair of gloves in men’s hockey
Goalkeeping in hockey is no easy task. The size of the net is way smaller than in football, but don’t let it deceive you. Protecting this smaller goal requires great skill and reflexes. You have to be fearless too. Because there are way more chances of getting hit in the face in hockey than in football.
Keeping the safety of the goalkeepers in mind they have to wear many layers of protective gear. These safety checks are indispensable for the safety of the keeper. These include a helmet, mouth guard, throat collar, body armour ( chest, arm and shoulder protection), elbow pads, padded shorts with hip and thigh protection. Moreover, knee pads, high density foam pads and foam knickers and last but not the least the abdominal protector are also used.
The high density foam gloves for the hands and foam gauntlet are also a part of a hockey goalkeeper’s arsenal. Apart from that, the goalkeepers use a light stick to stop or deflect the ball out of harm’s way. With so much weight on your body you still have to be able to be light on your feet. This is why goalkeeping in one of the toughest aspects of hockey. So, today we are going to do a countdown of the top five best goalkeepers in men’s hockey.
5. Pirmin Blaak ( Netherlands)
Dutch goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands and started his youth career at HC Barendrecht. In 2011, he made his debut for the national side. He played as a second goalkeeper behind Jaap Stockmaan till 2016.
From then onwards, he has been the Dutch team’s first-choice in goal. He represented his country at the 2018 Hockey World Cup. Blaak was adjudged the Goalkeeper of the Tournament at that event. He also represented his country at the 2019 EuroHockey Championship. The Dutch team won bronze, beating Germany 4-0 in the third place playoff. He also played at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
4. Andrew Charter ( Australia)
Andrew Charter is an experienced goalkeeper of the Australian hockey team. Charter is from the Capital Territory and has made more than 180 appearances for his national side. His abilities in goal came to the fore when he played with the Central Hockey Club. He made crucial saves in the final of the Australian Capital Territory Tournament. The saves allowed his team win the game 3-0.
Charter was also a hero for his latter club the Canberra Lakers in 2007. He featured in a critical penalty shootout, saving his side from the brink of defeat with a 4-3 victory. The goalkeeper was also instrumental in his side’s performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Courtesy of Charter, Australia reached the finals of the Olympics for the first time since 2004. However, they lost to Belgium in the gold medal clash.
3. David Harte ( Ireland)
David Harte is a two-time ( 2015, 2016) FIH Goalkeeper of the Year winner. The man from Country Cork made his senior debut for Ireland in 2006.
The lanky goalkeeper has helped his national side win many important tournaments and is one of the best goalkeepers in world hockey. The competitions include the 2009 Men’s EuroHockey Nations Trophy and the 2011 Men’s Hockey Champions Challenge 2. Moreover, he also helped Ireland win the Men’s FIH Hockey World League thrice (2012, 2015, 2017). Additionally, he was also named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the World League Round 2 and the Men’s EuroHockey Nations Championship.
Along the way he helped Ireland qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics and win the bronze medal at the 2015 EuroHockey Championship. Harte also won the Hamburg Masters as Ireland defeated Germany 4-2 in the finals. The 33-year-old goalkeeper was equally good at club level. His contributions for clubs like Pembroke Wanderers, SV Kampong, Mumbai Magicians are also noteworthy.
2. PR Sreejesh ( India)
PR Sreejesh is a Khel Ratna Awardee and a World Athlete of the Year winner. The talented Indian goalkeeper is undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Sreejesh’s illustrious career has not been short of accomplishments.
The man from Ernakulam has made more than 248 appearances for his country and has been very successful. Since making his debut for ,Sreejesh has given us some remarkable performances. He saved two penalty-corners against Pakistan at the Asian Champions Trophy Final in Ordos City, China. His second best tournament was at the 2013 Asia Cup.
The 33-year-old also featured in the gold medal match against Pakistan at the 2014 Asian Games. He made two decisive saves from penalty strokes in the game. Moreover, he also became the Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the 2014 and 2018 Champions Trophy. Sreejesh’s most recent memorable success was at the Tokyo Olympics. He helped his side win a bronze medal by defeating Germany. The victory meant India won an Olympic medal in men’s hockey after a long gap of 41 years.
1. Vincent Vanasch ( Belgium)
Finally, we narrow down to the greatest on this list. It is none other than Belgium’s Vincent Vanasch. Hailing from Evere, Vanasch is a consecutive three-time FIH Goalkeeper of the Year ( 2017, 2018, 2019). Throughout his career, the Rot-Weiss Koln player has won multiple accola,des.
Be it silver at the EuroHockey Championship in 2013 (Boom) or 2017 (Amstelveen) or gold in 2019 in (Antwerp). Coming to the Olympics he is also a double medalist there. Vanasch won a silver at the 2016 Olympics at Rio and a gold at the recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Add to that, a gold at the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar and a silver at the 2014-2015 Hockey World League.
Vanasch’s club Waterloo Ducks are also the first Belgian club to win the EuroHockey League in 2018-2019.
For more updates, follow Khel Now on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Leave a Reply