Ahead of next weekend’s EuroHockey Club Champions Cup competition in Hamburg (GER), the European Hockey Federation has been conducting a series of interviews as part of their promotion of their tournament. The first batch focuses on two of the strongest teams in the competition: Dutch giants Larensche MHC and Leicester HC of England. The two teams face each other in the opening match of the EHCCC, Europe’s elite club competition for women.
Larensche Mixed Hockey Club
Larensche Mixed Hockey Club was founded in 1923, and it is now home to more than 1,400 members. The majority of these members most of part of the club’s youth system. The women’s first team is consistently playing in the top half of the Dutch National League, and many of its players are also part of the National Dutch team.
Larensche MHC is the current champion of the EHCCC, and the team has been in the finals of the Dutch Championships seven times out of nine since 1993.
Their coach, Yolande Adriaansens, took some time to answer some of our questions.
European Hockey Federation: What has your journey been like to the EHCCC? What do you expect to achieve at this tournament?
Yolande Adriaansens: It’s been training, training and more training! Winning the EHCCC was great last year and it was definitely our proudest moment. We hope to win it this year as well!
EHF: How does your team keep motivated? What are your favourite team-building activities?
YA: We organize lots of fun practices, like dress-up practice for example. We also love to have fun and win! Our supporters are very important in keeping us motivated, we love it when they scream and shout!
Favourite Team Songs
Diamond – Rihanna
Scream and Shout – will.I.am and Britney Spears
Leicester Ladies HC
Leicester HC is one of the oldest and most successful women’s hockey clubs in England. Established in 1894, they now have several domestic titles to their name, including seven outdoor titles and two indoor. Their manager, Sue Holwell, answered some of our questions.
European Hockey Federation: What’s your journey been like to the EHCCC? What are your expectations for this tournament?
Sue Holwell: We’ve had a successful few seasons, but the European Gold has remained elusive! Our proudest moment during our domestic season was winning the national championship on a penalty shoot-out last year. It was a nerve-wracking end to the season, but we were proud to have won given the difficult season we had, with the Olympics and player availability an issue.
EHF: What are your expectations for this tournament?
SH: We hope to continue to develop as a team and play some exciting hockey. We’ll take it one game at a time and look to improve with each performance.
EHF: How do you keep motivated? What do you do to foster team spirit?
SH: We are all very self-motivated players, and of course we all enjoy winning! However, Sarah Cockayne is a real inspiration to all of us. Her sense of humour and team spirit is exceptional. We enjoy an occasional night out together as well, as we always enjoy eating a good Pukka Pie after our home games. They are one of our loyal sponsors and we really value their support.
EHF: What role does your Hockey family play in your success?
SH: We owe a huge amount of our success to our supporters. Our friends and family have always been so supportive and we cannot thank them enough. Through good times and bad, they’ve always been there. A huge amount of work also goes in at club level by the volunteers back home, who work to get us to these tournaments. A huge thank you to all of them!
EHF: Tell us about your team, what makes you different? What is your training playlist like?
SH: We have an eclectic taste in music in our team, but Vanessa Hawkins’s love of Justin Bieber is probably the best! We count amongst our ranks a variety of interesting people: a couple of Olympians, a top skier, a Nike model, a knitting pro, and a Doctor.
More interviews like this will be available over the coming days on www.eurohockey.org, the official website of the European Hockey Federation. To find out more information about the tournament, please click here.
Source material: European Hockey Federation
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