Reid-Ross’s pays tribute to Amsterdam as spell comes to a close

Justin Reid-Ross’s six-year spell with AH&BC Amsterdam came to a close this week with the news that his contract would not be renewed for the upcoming season.

The South African has been a key figure at the Wagener Stadium during his time there, helping the club land a Euro Hockey League silver medal in 2016 in Amsterdam, scoring four goals on that journey.

He is among a number of confirmed changes at the club this summer with Boris Burkhardt and Wiegert Schut both moving to HDM while Rik van Kan – an EHL winner with Bloemendaal in 2009 – has retired. Daan Dekker is coming in from Almere.

Reflecting on the news, Reid-Ross said: “This brings to an end the most enjoyable, challenging and successful chapter of my club hockey career.

“When I joined Amsterdam in 2014, I fulfilled my boyhood dream. This club has been home to the penalty corner masters that essentially created the skill, weaponised it, and perfected it. Taco van den Honert, Sohail Abbas, and Taeke Taekema were players I had revered growing up, and ultimately drove me to learn how to flick. 

“I joined a squad that included international heroes of mine, and I was to be coached by none other than two-time world player of the year, Alyson Annan. As a kid from Pretoria, South Africa, it was almost too good to be true.

“Over the last six seasons, I have experienced all the drama of the Hoofdklasse, the EHL, the Indoor National Championship and even the Gold Cup. I came to the club with the ambition to win titles. To ultimately leave Amsterdam without an (outdoor) championship or an EHL gold medal is tough to swallow, but that will certainly not define my period representing “het mooiste club van Nederland”.

“There are a great many people that I need to thank for all they did for me during my time at AH&BC. There are some people, however, who deserve a special mention for truly shaping both my experience at the club and my development as an athlete and a person. Bonnie & Rob Groenemeijer, Alyson Annan, Paul-Robert Lankhout, Alexia Sifneos, Graham Reid, Joost Bitterling — thank you for your time, support, hospitality and friendship.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to share the pitch with dozens of magnificent hockey players while wearing the Amsterdam colours, many of whom have become close friends, and I am grateful to have had that opportunity. You all know who you are. Thank you for teaching me how to speak Dutch and for making me feel at home.

“I will miss stepping onto the pitch in the Wagener as an Amsterdam player, but I am proud to have had the honour of wearing the iconic shirt for so long.

“Thank you to everyone that has been a part of this period in my life. Those who have supported me through rain and shine, snow and hail, historic wins and devastating losses, will always hold a special place in my heart, as will this fantastic club.”