Delfina ‘Leona’ Merino

DELFINA_MERINO

Who is Delfina Merino?

My name is Delfina Merino. I was born in Argentina, Buenos Aires the 15th October of 1989, since I was a little girl I was involved in sports and especially in hockey.
Started playing when I was 5 years old at Banco Provincia club which is my current club in Argentina and now I am playing abroad for SCHC in the Netherlands. Since 2009 I am part of Argentina’s national hockey team ‘Las Leonas’.

Can you describe briefly yourself as a player?

My field position is forward and I like to develop my game near the opponent area. I try to be effective looking for short corners or a shoot on goal to help my team. I really enjoy to shoot on goal with my backhand.

How are you finding the dutch experience so far?

This is my second experience playing abroad because in 2010 I already came to Netherlands, to play for SCHC together with Soledad García.
So I’m really enjoying this  second experience and things are easier for me because I already know the club and also many of the girls in the team.

SCHC is a really Nice club in which I enjoy playing, the level is also really high but most important is the fact that people are really nice And make me feel at home.

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What are the biggest differences between Argentina and Netherlands?

Argentina and Netherlands are different countries, I think the time in which Dutch people normally have dinner is really early for me, I’m used to have dinner around 21h00, 22h00 but people here eat earlier. So that’s a big difference but little by little I’m getting used.

Do you think hockey is growing in popularity in Europe and Argentina?

Yes , I think is growing every year. In Argentina is the first sport for girls, you can play hockey at your school, at your club, at your neighborhood, everyone knows hockey.

How do you explain the popularity of hockey in your home country?

The popularity of hockey in our country started in the Olympics of Sydney 2000, when ‘Las Leonas’ name was created and the first silver medal was achieved. Then, the following years where really good years for us, in every tournament we got medals and popularity keep on growing. In 2010 in Rosario (Argentina) we became champions of the world.
Also men’s hockey keeps on growing and I think the Gold medal in Rio will make it even bigger!

What does Las Leonas mean to you as a player?

Las Leonas means and represents a lot for me and being part of this team is a way of life we choose every day.
It is a privilege to be able to do every day what I love and also have the possibility to represent my country.
It is a very big responsibility to be part of this team and everyone needs to improve and prove it every single day.
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What was your best moment in hockey?

Luckily have really good moments, but if I need to choose the best would be the World Cup 2010 when we became champions in Rosario, Champions Trophy of 2014 and the World League 2015.
With my Argentina club “Banco Provincia ” 2013 And 2015 were also two amazing years.

Which are the main characteristics to be a top player?

To be a top player you have to dedicate almost 100% to hockey, to train with  dedication and responsibility but the fundamental thing to reach the top is firstly to love and to enjoy what you do every day.

What are your future plans?

My future plans will always be linked to hockey. My goals this year are related with SCHC and also Argentina in the World League and then at Pan American cup. I do not have my future defined after mid-year, let’s see how things go.

Who was the best player you played with?

Luciana Aymar

Delfina Merino

Barrafinal

 

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