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Double Dutch

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Netherlands’ Teun de Nooijer and Robert van der Horst scooped the WorldHockey Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards when the winners were announced at the Sahara Hockey Champions Trophy in Chennai last month.

For de Nooijer it was his second award and he became only the second player, after countryman Stephan Veen, to win the prestigious honour more than once, having lifted it in 2003.

Mark Grant finds out what the pair are like off the pitch.

Teun de Nooijer
Born: March 22 1976
Clubs: Bloemendaal, Alkmaar, Harvesthuder (Germany 1998)
Honours: Hoofdklasse (Dutch national championship) 1993, 1999, 2000, 2002 winners, European Club Championship 2001 winners, German national championship 1998 winners, WorldHockey Player of the Year 2003, 2005
Nickname: Neut (an anagram of Teun, it is also a drink in the Netherlands)
Occupation: Clifford Chance (International law firm in Amsterdam)
International Debut: June 1994, v New Zealand
International Caps: 315
International Honours
Olympic Games 1996 Atlanta (1st)
Olympic Games 2000 Sydney (1st)
World Cup 1998 Utrecht (1st)
Champions Trophy 1996 Madras (Chennai) (1st)
Champions Trophy 1998 Lahore (1st)
Champions Trophy 2000 Amstelveen (1st)
Champions Trophy 2002 Cologne (1st)
Champions Trophy 2003 Amstelveen (1st)

Who is your best friend in hockey?
My room mate with Holland is Taeke Taekema, so him

Who is your favourite player?
Jamie Dywer (Australia - and Bloemendaal team-mate) and Tibor Weissenborn (Germany)

Who is the toughest opponent you have played against?
My brother, Jeroen

What other sportsmen do you admire?
Johann Cruyff, the former Dutch football captain

If you were not a hockey player what would you have been?
I played a lot of soccer and tennis but all the family played hockey and I just went along to join in.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
After my family - I have three little daughters - my job and hockey, there is no time left.

What was your best moment of 2005?
It was quite a surprise to win the WorldHockey Player of the Year. That was a nice moment, a memorable moment.

What was your worst moment of 2005?
Bloemendaal losing the play-off to Oranje Zwart for the Hoofdklasse title. That was pretty disappointing.

What are your hopes for 2006?
To win the national championship again. For four times now I have come second with Bloemendaal. Also the World Cup is almost at home (it is played in Monchengladbach). There will be a big crowd from the Netherlands and it will be good for us to play there.

What are your ambitions?
To do the best I can and the best with the Netherlands in future tournaments. The two big ones are the World Cup and the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
All my former coaches have influenced me a little bit, but in the end you have to do it yourself - so the one big influence is myself.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
I can't remember!

Have you any idea what you will do when you are finished with hockey?
To do the things I like.

What is your favourite film?
The Godfather

What is your favourite book?
The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq

What music do you like listening to?
Lenny Kravitz, Prince

What is your favourite food?
Italian

What is the best way to spend time on tour when you are not playing or training?
Just relaxing a little bit and having fun with the boys. I'm not into playing video games. I'm more into films.

Robert van der Horst
Born: October 17 1984
Clubs: Eindhoven, Oranje Zwart
Honours: Hoofdklasse (National championship) 2005 winners, European Cup-Winners Cup 2004 winners, European Cup-Winners Cup 2002 winners
Nickname: Horst
Occupation: Currently in the final year studying marketing and communication
International Debut: December 4 2004, v New Zealand (Champions Trophy)
International Honours
Champions Trophy, Lahore 2004 (2nd)
European Nations Cup, Leipzig 2005 (2nd)
Champions Trophy 2005, Chennai (2nd)

Who is your best friend in hockey?
I currently live with three team-mates, Paul Maas, Thijs Maartens and Darren Cheesman

Who is your favourite player?
Rodrigo Garza

Who is the best opponent you have played against?
Michael McCann (Australia). He is always coming on to the ball and is always hard to defend against.

What other sportsmen do you admire?
Tiger Woods (golf) and Ian Thorpe (swimming) are two, but I like sports not just the people involved.

If you were not a hockey player what would you have been?
I played football when I was younger and a scout selected me for PSV Eindhoven but I chose to play hockey instead.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
Listening to music

What was your best moment of 2005?
We won the championship with Oranje Zwart for the first time in 70 years (the first time in their history) and it was a big celebration for the club. Winning the WorldHockey Young Player of the Year award gives you such a boost for the future and it was a big honour for me.

What was your worst moment of 2005?
I broke my foot at the beginning of the year and I was out of action for 12 weeks.

What are your hopes for 2006?
To win the national championship again. Also to win a gold medal with the national team. Three times I have had silver and it is not good enough.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My first coach, Roger van Gent

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
No matter what, be yourself.

Have you any idea what you will do when you are finished with hockey?
I am not really looking to the future. I will see what happens.

What is your favourite film?
I like the historical ones, like Braveheart or The Last Samurai.

What is your favourite book?
The Da Vinci Code

What music do you like listening to?
Mostly acoustic stuff

What is your favourite food?
French fries and chicken

What is the best way to spend time on tour when you are not playing or training?
Most of the time I go to my room and watch films, play on the PlayStation or just take it easy. Most of the days are full so between everything else, like meetings, I might read a book or probably play FIFA (on the PlayStation).

If you could invite any three people to be your dinner guests who would you choose?
Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft), Tiger Woods and my girlfriend.


Contents - Issue 29
January 2006

| President’s View
Els van Breda Vriesman, FIH President

| Double Dutch
Profiles of the WorldHockey Men's Players of the Year for 2005 - Tuen de Nooijer and Robert van der Horst

| The Successor
There's a new kid on the block in line to succeed Argentinean goal scoring phenomenon Jorge Lombi
| Towns calls time
Profile of New Zealand captain Simon Towns, who has called time after a distinguished 14-year career

| Hockey's Youth Promoter
Michael Steinmann won the World Youth Hockey Promoter in 2005 for his cross border project
| Tales from the States – Part 1
In the first of a two-part series, Al Mattei reports on two of the best stories from the United States last year
 
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