Florian Fuchs added yet another remarkable chapter to his EHL Men’s story last week as he became the first player to win his sixth Euro Hockey League title.
It was perhaps his strangest yet as he had indicated he would retire at the end of last season but his name was left on the “long list” of 40 potentially eligible players to line out in the 2022/23 season.
He was there along with the likes of Santi Freixa, Tim Jenniskens, Eby Kessing, Thomas Boerma and Wouter Jolie but surely this was just a case of form-filling?
Well, the restart of the Hoofdklasse season after the winter break saw rumours begin to air of a famous comeback and there was the flying forward walking out to the EHL hymn against Harvestehuder THC for another roll of the dice.
Fuchs came off the bench in all three of Bloemendaal’s victories, adding a fourth title with Bloemendaal to his collection along with the 2009 and 2012 successes with UHC Hamburg.
“It is great of course!” he said of this success. “It feels a bit different. Last year, I was really with the whole season while this year, i joined the team pretty late. It gives a different perspective but I enjoyed it a lot.
“It was amazing being on the pitch with the guys once again. What we have built with the guys over the last six years is incredible and a great way to top it off.
“There’s a couple of guys retiring as well – Tim Swaen, Glenn Schurmann, Roel Bovendeert – so for them, it is also amazing. EHL-wise, it couldn’t be better!”
Along with Bovendeert, he also played a behind the scenes role in the tournament. They are co-founders of The Wave Foundation who are “on a mission to make sports clubs in the Netherlands plastic-free, litter-free and circular”.
They were among the partners of the EHL and Pinoké’s bid to make the FINAL8 as sustainable as possible and he reckons the crowd of over 14,500 people who attended the event had a lot of fun in the process.
“The organisation was amazing; it was amazing so many fans showed up despite the terrible weather for the finals. Everyone was enjoying the hockey – not so many goals but still some great stuff. The support was great so we thank all the spectators!”