Who is Elliot Van Strydonck?
I’m 28 years old. Captain of Royal Léopold Club, played two years in Holland for Oranje-Zwart and player of the Red Lions who won the silver medal at the Olympics in Rio.
I also have a little boy Madison (19months). I got a Marketing degree in 2010.
Why field hockey?
Because I come from a big hockey family in Belgium. I was normal for me to play hockey. I started when I was 4 at Léo(pold).
Can you describe yourself as a player?
I’m a defender. I can play everywhere at the back. At Léo I play as a libero but for the Red Lions I play on the left and in the center. I’m not a skillful player but I really like the 1vs1. I like this feeling when the skillers come to you with the ball. The defend skills are my strengths. I can also use my speed to stay in contact with the quick stickers that I have to defend. I like to play short and combine with my midfielders. My long ball is not my strength but I try to use it also. I’m a player who work behind the spotlights.
What is the differences between Dutch and Belgium League?
Even is the Belgium League grew a lot the last few years, I think that the Dutch league is still more professionnel, more competitive and the games are quicker.
But in Belgium you really get some strong teams like Dragons, Racing, Daring, Watducks and if you see the last EHL seasons, the Belgium clubs were always really competitive. We are really coming closer from the Dutch league.
Rio 2016, what comes to your mind?
A dream came true…Olympic Medal!!
What are your goals either at a club level and with national team?
With my club, the goal is being champion because Léo has the most titles in Belgium, but is not champion for 10 years already.
With the Red Lions, I decided to take a break to start my business life and be 100% focus on my futur job. But for the Red Lions, the goal is for sur being in the top 3 at every important tournaments they play. The Olympics were the start…
How can hockey improve worldwide?
Hockey is already growing a lot, bringing every year some new rules and technologies. I think to be more popular hockey still needs more media around the World and consequently, needs more money.
We need to see more hockey on TV and still more on Internet. Sometimes I have the feeling that there are to much tournaments so it’s difficult to explain the people what every tournaments mean. Maybe less tournaments but more visibility not only in Europe but everywhere around the World.
Most special moments of your carrer?
I have two: The moment you come on the podium and receive your Olympic Medal, it’s was a dream for my whole life and it came true.
The second one is the EHL title with Oranje-Zwart in 2015. The shoot-outs were unbelievable. I never got so much stress during a shoot-outs session!
Wishes for the future outside and inside of the field?
Inside the field I still want to win everything until the moment I stop playing. Off the field I want to develop my business life to think about new challenges outside the hockey and I also want continue to build my little family that I really love every day more.
Do you have a nickname?
Zizou. I’m a big fan of Zinedine Zidane 😉 not because I play like him 😉
When I was young it was Pol Amat from Spain but when I became a real defender, I liked Muller from Germany who already stopped playing.
Funny story in the national team or club?
The moment we went to the Olympic Stadium to play against Australia during the Olympics in Rio, the bus driver lost his way and we were into a favela of Rio.
We arrived only 40 minutes before the game. Hopefully we played a really strong match and we won 1-0.
Elliot van Strydonck