Hockey Tour to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany 2018

June 20, 2018 | Boys’ College | Author: Graham Jonson, MIC: Hockey

Hockey Tour to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany 2018

A squad of 20 hockey players embarked on a tour of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany during the April holidays. These countries represent the top level of hockey in the world and the club structures offer a fantastic opportunity to learn from the best. Hockey is the second most popular sport in this region after football, and this is evidenced by the infrastructure that has been established. In Amsterdam, there are 3 clubs, namely HC Amsterdam, Pinoke and Campong in an area the size of Saints who together host 14 astroturfs and thousands of active players.

We were privileged to watch two top level matches during the tour, HC Rotterdam v Campong in Rotterdam and later Rot-Weiss Koln v HTHC in Cologne, Germany. In both games we watched international level players in action, and had the chance to meet some of the stars of each team. Travis Driver and Liam McCarthy were introduced to Davey Hart of Campong, the world’s No 1 goalkeeper, and the staff were reunited with Alex Cox, the coach of HC Rotterdam who is married to former SA captain Marsh Marescha. In Cologne we met an old South African friend in Nicholas Spooner as well as current Austrian internationals Michael Korper and Xaver Hasun, all from the HTHC team.

We conducted five training sessions over the course of the tour, in each case facilitated by top coaches and players at the clubs, as listed below.

  • Derk de Bruin, HC Amsterdam 1st team trainer
  • Dennis van de Poel, HC Amsterdam GK trainer
  • Bendt Kom, HC Amsterdam trainer and U16 coach
  • Johannes Mooij & Casper Horn, HC Amsterdam 1st team players
  • Diana Bemster, HC Rotterdam GK trainer
  • Simon Egerton, HC Rotterdam 1st team & former UK and England player
  • Daniele di Cioli, DSD Dusseldorf 1st team player
  • Dominic Giskes, EV Dusseldorfer U18 coach

These coaches facilitated a series of high intensity sessions that our boys engaged in completely. It was gratifying to hear from Simon Egerton that he was scheduled to coach only one session, but he chose to return the next day to take another session because of the energy, enthusiasm and attitude of our boys.




Beyond the training, we played 5 matches against different clubs. These offered us the opportunity to put the skills learned into practice. We learned quickly that the standard of hockey is very high in Europe and that mistakes are swiftly punished. Nonetheless our boys played some good hockey and learned to put maximum effort into each game.

Apart from the hockey we enjoyed the opportunity to do some sightseeing including a canal cruise in Amsterdam, a visit to the top of the Euromast in Rotterdam, snow-skiing at SnowPlanet, a bicycle tour through Antwerp and a visit to Phantasialand theme park near Dusseldorf.