Jip Janssen is looking forward to an ever-increasing level of responsibility in the SV Kampong as they return to Barcelona for the first time since the Utrecht club’s famous 2016 EHL GRAND FINAL victory.
Back then, Janssen – now 21 – was still a teenager and was an unused sub in the final and appeared for the last 15 minutes of the semi-final 5-1 win against Atletic Terrassa.
Now, he is a powerful part of the team’s back line and has played 23 times for the Dutch national selection in 2019 in addition to his club commitments.
Looking back on his development since 2016, the powerful defender admits it has been a rapid rise as he looks forward to their EHL KO16 date with HC Minsk at the Pau Negre Stadium.
“Since I was very new in the team, I did not play a lot of minutes,” Janssen told the EHL website. “I was still in the Under-19s so sometimes Aal [coach Alexander Cox] let me play a few minutes.
“I remember I was sitting on the bench in the semi-finals almost the whole match. In the third quarter, Aal told me that I could play. The Kampong fans began to shout my name. It was an amazing feeling.
“Four minutes later, the ref sent me off with a yellow card for pushing. Being a bit too eager! That is a funny story that I will never forget so I am very excited to be back for the EHL in Barcelona this October!
“I most certainly have a bigger role now than I had back then. I think I can help the team with my drag-flick and my defending discipline, but we still have guys like David Harte, Sander de Wijn, Robert Kemperman and Bjorn Kellerman who make the important tactical decisions. I do think that it is a role that I can grow into in the coming years.”
Janssen is among a large group of big Dutch talents at the club like Silas Lageman, Boet Phijffer, Koen Visser, Bram van Battum and Derk de Vilder. Most recently, Terrance Pieters (22) and Jonas de Geus (21) have switched to the club from Almere and Janssen feels the club is a great place to develop young talent.
He joined from Naarden where he played up until the age of 15. There, he was playing for the club’s Under-16s but also their Under-18s as well as the adult first team.
“This meant sometimes I had to play three games in one weekend. I did all this because I wanted to become a better player, but three games in one weekend was a bit too much.
“That is why I decided to join Kampong. Kampong was the best club around. This club is known for its talent development, that is what I liked about it.”
He says Pieters and de Geus – “two big Dutch talents” – have settled in perfectly with the club, helping them to two wins and a lively 2-2 draw against HC Bloemendaal.
It is why Janssen is happy to be back in the club environment after such a busy year for club and country.
“Indeed, it has been a long, busy and turbulent year for me. On the other hand, when the holidays were over, I could not wait to get back on the field with all my kampong friends.
“The start of the season has been good and I think we can accomplish great things with this team. It is a close team with only dutch guys and a good mix of experienced players and young talent. The only ‘foreigner’ is David Harte, but he speaks dutch perfectly!”