31.07.2015, Brussels; Before the Men’s Final at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships we will announce 2 new EHF Hall of Famers…

In our series of “catch ups” with our inaugural Inductees we recently had a chat with Teun de Noojer to see how he’s getting on since his retirement from the pitch.

With 453 caps to his name, EHF Hall of Famer, Teun De Nooijer could be forgiven for taking it easy, or taking some time away from the game, but sport is in his heart and he continues to be part of our hockey family.

The last season has seen him giving back to the younger section of the game, coaching with the HC Bloemendaal Girls under 14 team. But his experiences with them will no doubt help as he moves into the coaching team for the Dames 1 at HC Bloemendaal for the coming season. The desire to coach comes from his simple love of the game, when asked about how he maintained his performances and focus over such a long and successful career he attributes that simply to the love he feels for his sport. A ‘gentle’ man on the field, his approach to opponents and officials alike was a respected part of his game, fiercely competitive the passion was surrounded by a soft-spoken professionalism that shows through his coaching, a measured delivery with huge knowledge and ability to inspire different ages and abilities.

He has concerns for the sport in the future, with pressures coming from other sports at Olympic level he knows that Hockey has to continue to develop and explore all the exciting and dynamic initiatives that exist. His time in The Indian Hockey League has given him an insight into the sport at different level, the massive traditional Indian hockey community a vital untapped resource to that countries success. ‘Their (India’s) passion for their sport is amazing, they love the game and the top players are superstars, for our game to continue to be seen as a global success, traditional ‘powerhouse’ teams such as India and in turn Pakistan need to be part of the top echelons of world hockey’

Teun believes that passion for the game starts at a young age, but that the junior players do not need to have a single sport focus ‘Focus is always good but as a young kid it is very wise to develop also by doing other sports. In my free time I did a lot of tennis and soccer with my friends’. Other sports played a huge part in his athletic development and helped to keep a fresh approach and one that was consistently challenging.

So, as he continues to develop his coaching roles, giving back his time into hockey as well as being a global ambassador for our sport, he knows that simple excitement and passion carry huge weight in player development. His time as Team Manager at AZ Alkmaar have given him an insight to another sport, challenging his knowledge of team tactics and inter-personal dynamics, helping him develop the values that the Teun De Nooijer Academy looks to develop in individuals and teams – Respect, Passion, Quality, Impact. Values that he played to and now inspires in others.

Thanks to Teun for taking some time out to give us an insight into his current place in hockey.

See our recent “catch up” with Santi Freixa here and coming soon we are chatting to Natascha Keller, the last of inaugural inductees.

The big question is – Who’s Next??????????????????????? 

Photograph: 2014 Euro Hockey League Final. KHC Dragons v HC Bloemendaal, Teun de Nooijer with his daughter (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))