Do you know who in 2015 received the Athletes in Excellence Award from The Foundation for Global Sports Development, in recognition of his community service efforts and work with youth?
Yes, his name Santiago “Santi” Freixa.…
Join the discussion on Monday 10th August at 09.00 CET and take a unique chance to ask Santi about his plans for being at the helm of the historic AH&BC.
Presented by Jack Rolfe from the Coaching Lab and powered by our partner Coach Logic, we are today announcing the third of our EHF Breakfast Club webinar series, with Santi Freixa, Head Coach of AH&BC.
Freixa played in Spain for his local club Atètic Terrassa until 2006, when he joined Dutch club AH&BC in Amstelveen. In 2015 he announced his retirement from professional field hockey. He still played a few matches for Amsterdam’s first team the next season because of an injury crisis. He was the head coach of the first women’s team of SV Kampong from 2016 until 2019. In April 2019, he was signed as the head coach of the first men’s team of his former club Amsterdam from the 2019–20 season onwards.
Santi earned his first Spanish cap in 2000 against The Netherlands. In 2004, Freixa was named Talent of the Year by the International Hockey Federation. He won gold at the Champions Trophy in Lahore in 2004, winning the EuroHockey Championship in Leipzig in 2005 (gleefully recalling how Spain scored a late winner against Germany in the semi-finals “just like the Germans usually do!”) and played in the Olympic final in 2008.
And the most significant influence on his career? His father. Santi explained: “He showed me who I am and what I have to do. His advice was to pass the ball and enjoy the game. He kept it simple – it was never all about scoring goals.”
Goal scoring is a part of the game Santi is rather good at. Finding the net four times in the EuroHockey Championship in Barcelona in 2003 against the Netherlands in the semi-finals is one of his greatest memories. “It was the start of Spain getting back on track after a disappointing 9th place finish at the Sydney Olympics.“
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, he captained the Spanish team, retiring in 2014.
A testament to his glorious goal scoring ability he scored 126 goals for Spain in 193 appearances.
In 2013 Santiago “Santi” Freixa was inducted into the EHF Hall of Fame.