John-John Dohmen will move to Royal Orée next season, following his current Waterloo Ducks trainer Xavier de Greve to make the move to the Brussels club.
It follows 13 seasons with the WatDucks, culminating in their run to the EHL title in 2019 in Eindhoven with the 32-year-old taking up a three-year contract.
“I had contact with a lot of clubs in Belgium,” admitted the Red Lions’ most capped player. “What pleased me was they had ambitious plans for the future. It’s extremely positive for Belgian hockey.
“There are several elements which seduced me to this project. First, they want to get an EHL ticket next season.
“Second, I will be able to integrate the staff alongside Xavier De Greve and Steve Crauwels in order to work specifically on the tactical aspects. Finally, I will also have the opportunity to coach the ladies team which, too, has serious ambitions for the future since it wishes to make its return to the Honor division.”
Dohmen started his adult career at Leopold at the age of 16, winning a title in his three years in the first team in 2006. He then returned to Waterloo for a 13 seasons which included four Belgian titles – in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014 – and the EHL crown last year.
“My ambition is to be able to develop myself as a coach. It is really a global project that I was looking for and the Orée offers me this possibility. It is true that I experienced a period of doubt after the 2018 World Cup and my illness.
“I asked myself a lot of questions about my future. But, after the European Championship and with Olympic preparation, I feel in great shape to continue my career.
“A player-coach option never crossed my mind. It is incompatible in my opinion. I didn’t want to do like Vincent Kompany even if I really believe in his project at Sporting in Anderlecht. I was looking to gain as much experience for the future. “