International Eva de Goede – World Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019 – chooses Amsterdam for a new challenge after ten seasons. The 32-year-old graceful midfielder exchanges the club with which she won two national titles surprisingly for HGC, which finished eleventh last season. The captain of Orange will also extend her international career up to and including the World Cup in 2022.
‘I understand that this choice comes as quite a surprise to some people. I also have to let it sink in, now that the play-offs have just ended. But I have a very strong feeling that this is what I should do. I don’t see it as phasing out. I think this choice is good for my growth as a player and as a person ‘, says De Goede, before she starts to explain how her decision came about.
No more traveling to New Zealand and Australia
Last year, Corona put an end to the future plans of the 235-time international. Initially, her intention was to stop playing hockey after the 2020 Olympics. Together with her friend Tim Drummond, player of Little Switzerland, she planned a dream trip to faraway places like New Zealand and Australia, where she has family.
When corona took hold of the world and the Olympics were postponed by a year, De Goede decided to postpone her future plans and extend her hockey career by a year. She did not want to miss the adventure in Tokyo for the world. With all the corona restrictions still in place, the prospect of a tour of the other side of the world evaporated. Moreover, due to the postponement of the Games, a wonderful hockey farewell is ahead of the 2022 World Cup, of which the Netherlands will play the group phase in their own country, nine months after Tokyo. She hopes that there will be an audience in the stands again. ‘In a full stadium is where I want to say goodbye.’
I hope to get some extra rest with this, so that in addition to my adventure at HGC I can also continue to focus fully on the Dutch team
All this convinced De Goede to continue playing hockey for a year, she says. She did feel the need for more rest. A year and a half ago she moved to The Hague with her boyfriend, after which she continued to commute back and forth to the Wagener Stadium. A friend of De Goede, who she met during her sabbatical in the 2016/2017 season in South Africa and who is now a youth coach at HGC, made her enthusiastic about an adventure closer to home and put the board of the club in touch with her. .
‘We moved to The Hague because Tim plays for Klein Zwitserland. Actually, it would only be for half a year, because we were going to travel afterwards. Driving up and down to Amsterdam for six months is still a small effort. But now it has become a year and a half. I think it would be wonderful to jump around my bike and to be able to cycle to the club. I hope to be able to take extra rest with this, so that in addition to my adventure at HGC, I can also continue to concentrate fully on the Dutch team ‘, explains De Goede.
She also says she is ready for a new sporting challenge. ‘I can’t wait to fight for points again. To struggle and to plow every Sunday. Moreover, I see it as a challenge to add something to a team that has finished at the bottom in the past two seasons. In addition, HGC is a club with a lot of ambition and a great history [eight league titles since the introduction of the big league] that really appeals to me ‘, says De Goede.
As a child, De Goede started playing hockey at Phoenix in Zeist. After a short period at Schaerweijde, she ended up at Kampong in 2005. At the age of seventeen, she caused a sensation by making her debut in the Dutch national team during an international match against India, without having played in the Dutch big league for a minute. Immediately she scored a goal and gave an assist. In 2010 she left for Amsterdam, where she became a jewel for hockey and a leader in the field. With that club she won two national titles (2013, 2019) and two European Cups (2014, 2019).
She was not allowed to say goodbye during the play-offs. De Goede played her last game for Amsterdam on April 4: the consolation final of the Euro Hockey League, in which she fell and broke her left wrist .
Partly because of Amsterdam, I have become the best hockey player in the world
De Goede: ‘I look back with pride on the ten beautiful seasons that I have been able to play hockey for Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a wonderful club, where we have taken a huge step with Dames 1 in recent years. We have changed from a team that often lost against Den Bosch into a team that fought and seriously competed in the battle for the national title every year. ‘
‘I have the best memories of the two national titles that we won with Amsterdam. In recent years it has been so close together that it could stand out from both sides. I am proud that we have achieved that as a team. Unfortunately, the side of Den Bosch stood out last weekend. I am very grateful to everyone within the club for the ten beautiful years. Partly because of Amsterdam, I have become the best hockey player in the world. ‘