Who is Benjamin Stanzl?
A 27 years old Austrian player who really spend a lot of time at the hockey pitch.
How did Hockey start in your life?
My parents already played hockey so it was really clear that I would start playing hockey,
got my first stick at the age of 2, there is a nice picture at my parent’s house of me playing hockey and wearing diapers.
How could you describe yourself as a player?
A midfielder who prefers to play in the center. I think I have a good overall view, love to play give and go.
I am very ambitious and hate to lose games,if it is in the training or in a competion, so in one side it is a good characteristic but sometimes it isn´t…
You reached the highest with HTHC (Harvestehuder) now you are playing for the Dutch Oranje-Zwart.
Can you tell us about your career?
I started playing hockey very early so it was always a part of my life, after secondary school I decided to go to Germany for an exciting experience. Firstly, never thought I would stay in Hamburg for such a long time. I played there for 7 years, moved to Hamburg with the age of 19 so it was a long distance away from my family and friends. In the beginning I thought about staying for 2 or 3 years but in the end I met a few really good friends and now the city is my second home. But after 7 years you are searching for new challenges and I got a good offer from Oranje Zwart, so I choose to play there.
Austria is not one of the top hockey countries but could always produce hockey talents, what is your advise for young talents from minor countries to achieve a top level?
I think when hockey is a big part of your life it doesn´t matter from where you are coming from. If you have a dream and talent you have to work hard and can achieve a lot, and so its not impossible for talents of small hockey countries to play in the best competions of the world.
How is hockey in Austria at this moment?
Its a small community but really familiar.We have a good youth development and a lot of good coaches who are working very good with our young talents. The youth teams in Austria are already a few years under the top 10 of Europe. So I hope and think in the next years you will hear a lot from Austria.
At the Senior level we are also now under the top 8 of europe which is very good for us and our sport to make it bigger in the country. But our main goal is to qualify one time for the olympic games. I think on the paper we are far away to reach this aim but in real life we try to train hard and from now on there are 4 more years to improve and develop.
Indoor or Outdoor?
In the past it was indoor, I loved to play for big crowds in Germany and also internationally, but now my priority is more the outdoor hockey. I play now in the best outdoor competition in the world and in january I fly to India to play for the Delhi Waveriders (at India Hockey League), so my focus is from now on, relies definately on outdoor hockey.
You are undoubtedly one of the best indoor players in the world, do you think that background makes you a better outdoor player?
For sure, the experience you reach at international high level you can also use in outdoor. The fact I was a key player in my indoor teams that makes my leadership also better in outdoor. Also, you can use a lot of the indoor skills in outdoor.
What are the differences between German and Dutch Hockey?
The style of the game and also a bit the individual quality in the game.
The style of coaching is also different. Back in Germany our focus was most of the time to defend really hard and ‘the rest would come naturally’. Here, at Oranje Zwart the style is a bit different. We have a lot of quality in the team and the focus is more of what we are doing with the ball.
What are your goals either at a club level and with your national team?
When you are playing in one of the best teams in the world your goal is to learn a lot from the other players and also to win titles, thats the reason we train very hard week after week. In the national team we want to come closer to the top of the world and we want to play some big tournaments in the future not only indoor but also outdoor.
I have two Idols in my career: one was Michael Green. He was even not the most skilfull player in the world but he worked always so hard in the training and fought until the last second in every game. So he became world’s best player. The second one is Tobias Hauke, I was always obsessed from his skills and I learned a lot from him, I often wanted to copy his style of playing.
Thoughest defenders to play against?
Marcel Balkestein (Netherlands) and Michael Green (Germany).
Most special moments of your career?
The most special moment was to win the EHL with my old club HTHC against my new club Oranje Zwart, it was our first season in the competion and was a real fairy tail…
What brings the future?
The future brings a lot of new experiences with my new club Oranje Zwart, and also very special for me is playing for the Delhi waveriders in the Indian Hockey League 2016.