Hailing from a country where field hockey is adored and regularly features on mainstream TV. Dutchman, field hockey star, Teun de Nooijer, was as adept with reverse stick play as forehand play.
Lightning quick, and skilled with the ability to get the ball to stick, to his hockey stick hook like glue, he possessed sublime skills when volleying, dribbling, and laser accuracy when shooting on goal. The world has missed his skills since he retired from field hockey in 2014.
De Nooijer was voted FIH Player of the year in 2003 and 2005. The hockey legend created history when he won the award for the third time in 2006, which was presented by ( eighth President of the International Olympic Committee) Jacques Rogge. Incredibly, De Nooijer’s international career lasted eighteen years.
Speaking recently, he said he still follows the sport and watches the games often
“It’s hard to find something instead of playing the sport.”
His career of twenty years went really fast. He says
“I was lucky with my body and I took care of it; real big injuries weren’t there. I was lucky with that and have to thank my parents”
When asked if he had any highlights of his great games, such as winning Gold twice at the Olympics, Teun replied:
“That’s really hard – if I look back – five times national championships with HC Bloemendaal, is for me a highlight – not just once but 5 times in a row. I look back on that period with a lot of joy”
He added to that highlight with the memory of Atlanta ’96
“The first time at the Olympics in Atlanta, 96 – every game we improved and I was like a striker and allowed to go forward and bring what I had”
Winning the World Cup in Utrecht, 1998 was also a wonderful highlight for Teun de Nooijer; he said, they had some luck in beating, “a good Spanish side”, and proudly he, himself put in the rebound to score the winner. The Utrecht soccer stadium was full during the tournament adding to the excitement of the occasion.
The FIH 1998 Men’s Hockey World Cup was the ninth Hockey World Cup. The Netherlands men’s team made history by being the only nation to win a tournament at its home ground once and then twice.
Interesting facts About Teun de Nooijer
- Teun was a great fan of Indian legend Dhyan Chand
- He realised his dream to play in India.
- He became the best paid player for the Hockey India League, in 2012 when he was signed by UP Wizards.
- Teun de Nooijer is married to former German international hockey player, Philippa Suxdorf.
What has Teun de Nooijer done after retiring from competitive matches?
Teun de Nooijer was until recently the coach of the women’s team of HC Bloemendaal.
Teun loved his role and speaking in an interview said it would be hard to live without field hockey. He said
“Hockey runs in my blood. That will always attract me. Like many other hockey coaches, I have an extra job during the week (consultant at McDermott & Bull Europe, ed.). But as far as I’m concerned, there is always a future for me in hockey. But as an assistant. That role suits me very well. That gives me energy. I also get a lot of energy back from the players. As a coach you sometimes need time to find out what suits you. “
The following video highlights some great moments of skill in the career of Teun de Nooijer…