Den Bosch trio looking to sign off in style at Euro giants

Easter’s women’s ABN AMRO EHL is set to be the swansong for a trio of European club hockey’s greatest players in Den Bosch colours with Margot van Geffen, Marloes Keetels and Lidewij Welten all set to move on this summer.

The 32-year-old van Geffen is moving to HGC following 12 seasons of success at Oosterplas, winning eight national titles and six European cups, including last year’s EHL.

Explaining the decision, she said to “The first half of this season felt too much like routine for me. After every Olympic Games, you end up in a kind of black hole, but in the end it always disappears. 

“Not this time. This time hockey kept costing me a lot of energy. I went to find out exactly what it was. I concluded from the fact that I’ve been in the same environment for years. I am ready for a new challenge,” the double Olympic champion said.

“Since the first second, I have felt welcome at Den Bosch,” she added about her time with the club. “I have learned a lot and have had great years. I am proud of the many awards we have won and the many friendships I have built. I will do everything I can to end my career at Den Bosch on a good note. It’s time to fire one more time and win the league title and the EHL.”

On Wednesday, Keetels confirmed she will retire from top hockey following this summer’s World Cup, saying “it’s time for other things in my life.”

She has been with Den Bosch for 13 seasons with nine Hoofdklasse crowns to her name.

Last week, Welten signed for SV Kampong, the 31-year-old ending a 17-year spell with the club. 

“I don’t think many people saw this transfer coming,” Welten said of her move.

“Initially, I planned to extend my contract with Den Bosch by two years. After all these years, I’m still having a good time and playing for a fantastic team.

“But at some point, I started to have doubts. I want to be the best version of myself for another two years and started to notice that I needed a new stimulus. I’m too much in my comfort zone. 

“I’ve always had a good time at Den Bosch and I can win my 13th national title this year. It may sound spoiled, but it ends up on top of the pile with all those other national titles, so to speak. “What I’m doing here at Den Bosch has become a bit of copy/paste . Of course, I could have continued to play for Den Bosch without that new incentive, but I thought it would be great to step out of my comfort zone and do something completely different.”