Mister Rotterdam hails team ethic as club back in the EHL

© Frank Uijlenbroek.

Rotterdam will return to the Euro Hockey League for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign on a special day for the city’s sports teams.

The hockey club beat AH&BC Amsterdam in their decisive third playoff game on the same day Dirk Kuyt sealed the Eredivisie for Feyenoord on the football front ahead of Ajax.

As always, Jeroen Hertzberger was a pivotal player with a goal and an assist and he said afterwards: "This is what we wanted, to return to the top."

He set up Simon Egerton – one of the four British players in the Rotterdam panel – for a tip in for 1-0 in the 15th minute.

It remained that way for 40 minutes when former Rotterdam player Robert Tigges grabbed a clever equaliser.

Rotterdam bounced back with Hertzberger, the Hoofdklasse’s top scorer with 28 goals, dragging a penalty corner goalward which was upgraded to a penalty stroke which he converted for 2-1 with seven minutes left.

Moments later, Paul Melkert struck from a fine action from Dutch international Seve van Ass for 3-1 and while Mirco Pruyser got one back from a corner rebound, Rotterdam held on for the victory.

While many look to Hertzberger as “Mister Rotterdam”, he paid tribute to the team that has been built this season: “I am very happy but it's not about me. This collective is so strong. That's what I told those guys last night, "Hertzberger said after the game.

"I said in the team Whatsapp group that was a downer that we had lost Saturday but it is an illusion to think that we can play six good halves of hockey in three games. That will not happen.

“I told them everyone had to make its own contribution to the team and we had to survive the difficult moments. Our strength is the team."

For Amsterdam, it also provided an abrupt end to their season with no third place playoff on the table due to Bloemendaal’s loss to Kampong in their final playoff game.

It means Bloemendaal – as regular season champions – and Kampong will be the other sides going to the EHL along with Rotterdam.