Who is Bob de Voogd?
I’m 28 years old and was born in Helmond in the Netherlands. I play club hockey for HC Oranje-Rood and I’m also part of the Dutch National team, for which I have played 89 caps. Playing hockey and having a lot of fun doing it is what I enjoy the most.
Why did you choose hockey?
Hockey runs in the family. My grandfather and father played hockey and I was always watching their games when I was a little boy. My first gift when I was born was a little hockey stick from the team my father was playing for, so I guess my future was already decided 😉
Who is your favorite hockey player?
Rashid Mehmood, he steals the ball and is then able to dribble past 10 opponents. Always with a smile on his face.
Have you got a role model?
Not one particular player. I do have a lot of respect for a lot of players who all have their own qualities. I always try to learn from them and look for what’s good for me to use in my game. In the end I believe that you have to become the best version of yourself to be successful.
What are your hobbies apart from hockey?
I’m a big fan of the NHL and NFL. I follow those leagues closely. Besides that, I love to play golf in my spare time and collect vinyl records.
About the EHL FINAL4. How did you prepared for that tournament?
First we had some preparation with the National Team towards the Hockey World League in June and we will kept on training with O-R. The fact that we didn’t play in the playoffs this year gives us some time to prepare for the EHL.
Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences in the HIL (Hockey India League)?
I really enjoyed playing in the HIL. At that time it was a big adventure for me as I had to say no to the National Team. A hard decision at first, but playing in India was worth every second. The people, the country, the league, and all the media attention made it an incredible experience for me. Hopefully I can be part of it again.
Does this competition in India have a good impact in the world hockey community?
I think it does. You can see the level of young Indian players rising as they play more matches at international level. And for players from Europe, for example, it’s a big experience to play in India. In the end, the level of the HIL is good and you play against the best players in the world in a country that is crazy about hockey. What else do you need?
What are your future plans as a player and in hockey?
For now I’m good where I am. I have a contract at HC Oranje-Rood until 2020 which is also the year of the Tokyo Olympics. So the next three years will be all about getting the best hockey out of me to be part of the National Team and to win titles with O-R. Also I have never played a World Cup so that is a big goal for me as well.
Is The Netherlands the favorite for the next international tournaments?
I think The Netherlands could be one of the favorites. It would be crazy to say that we are _the_ favorite because countries like Australia, Germany, Belgium, and Argentina also have a lot of quality. But as The Netherlands we want to win every tournament and play nice and effective hockey. So I’m really looking forward to the next tournaments where we can measure ourselves with the rest and hopefully win some prizes again.
Knowing that The Netherlands is one of the biggest hockey countries in the world, what do you think can still be improved for the youth, and also at club level?
I think that in general the competition in The Netherlands is very good. Young kids play games against all the top clubs from an early age, which is a good thing. But too often people tend to see talent only in the very technical players. I agree but it’s not the only thing you need to become a top player. I think a lot of potential top players are ignored because we only see the two guys who score all the goals and have good skills. We need players who can defend well, be mentally strong, and be prepared to work for the team to get results. And on top of that we need the best skills possible.
Bob de Voogd