Welcome to the European Hockey Federation podcast. In conversation with the biggest names in sport, generating insight and engagement around coaching, officiating and playing hockey.
Adam Commens: Managing high performance
Adam David Commens is a former field hockey midfielder from Australia, who was a member of the team that won the bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
Commens was nicknamed Billy by his teammates, and earned a total number of 143 caps (20 goals) for Australia.
Commens was named head coach of the Belgium national field hockey team on 4 July 2007. Commens was coach and a key player of the Royal Antwerp Hockey Club (RAHC). His new assistant will be Murray Richards.
Commens became coach of the Australia women's national field hockey team at the start of 2011, but was stood down by Hockey Australia in 2016 after their investigation into allegations that Commens "had engaged in behaviour amounting to serious misconduct", which is reported to have involved Commens exposing himself and making lewd remarks to some squad members during the Rio Olympics. When he took over as coach, he dropped five experienced players from the national squad:Kate Hollywood, Fiona Johnson, Alison Bruce, Shelly Liddelow and Amy Korner.
Since the Rio Olympic Games, Commens has been appointed as the High Performance Director of the Belgian Hockey Federation and won Belgium's first ever World Cup in 2018.
In conversation with Jack Rolfe, Founder of The Coaching Lab.
A special EHF Podcast to celebrate International Women's Day 2021
Today we are celebrating International Women’s Day and Siobhán Madeley took over the EHF Podcast from Jack for a special edition with Marijke Fleuren, EHF President, Executive Board Member FIH, Member IOC Commission "Women in Sport", Member of the EHL Board and we are joined by Marco Moers and Mandy Beck who are part of the ABN Amro Diversity & Inclusion policy team. The theme for IWD 2021 is “choose to challenge” so it seems fitting to discuss this topic with Marijke, Marco and Mandy as they are leading the charge to structurally change the pattern of inequality between sportsmen and women.
Dennis Bergkamp & Minke Smabers: Talent Identification
Dennis Bergkamp is a Dutch professional football coach and former player. Originally a wide midfielder, Bergkamp was moved to main striker and then to second striker, where he remained throughout his playing career. Nicknamed the "Non-Flying Dutchman" by Arsenal supporters due to his fear of flying, Bergkamp is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation.
Upon retiring, Bergkamp insisted he would not move into coaching. He turned down an offer to scout for Arsenal and instead concentrated on travelling and spending time with his family. However, in April 2008, he began a fast-track coaching diploma for former Dutch international footballers and undertook a trainee role at Ajax. Having completed the Coach Betaald Voetbal course by the Royal Dutch Football Association(KNVB), Bergkamp was appointed assistant to Johan Neeskens for the newly formed Netherlands B team on 26 October 2008. For the 2008–2009 season, Bergkamp returned to Ajax in a formal coaching position with responsibility for the D2 (U12) youth team. Following the promotion of Frank de Boer as manager of Ajax in December 2010, Bergkamp was appointed assistant manager to Fred Grim, dealing with Ajax' flagship A1 (U19) youth team.
In August 2011, Bergkamp was named De Boer's assistant at Ajax. However, after the arrival of Peter Bosz as the new head coach at Ajax, Bergkamp's role at Ajax slightly changed. He no longer sat on the bench during first-team matches, but instead focused more on field training and on helping youth players reach the first team. He and fellow assistant Hennie Spijkerman were sacked from their roles in December 2017.
Minke Smabers is a field hockey midfielder from the Netherlands. Her current team is Laren.
She was part of the team that won the 2007 Champions Trophy. During the Champions Trophy she became the all-time record holder in caps for the national team, wearing the orange jersey for the 235th time in her career in the final, breaking Mijntje Donners' record. She won an Olympic gold medal with the Dutch team by beating China in the final of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
In conversation with Jack Rolfe, Founder of The Coaching Lab.
Sarah Kelleher: Consult, learn & perform
Sarah is a strategic consultant in innovation, business & brand strategy, specialising in the power of storytelling & cultural understanding to engage and change behaviour across a wide range of sectors and business challenges. In her 20+ years working in the industry, she have worked extensively with global brands such as Lexus, NIVEA, Johnson and Johnson, Bupa, McDonalds, Jack Daniels and Eli Lilly…
Alongside her business career, Sarah have been involved in high performance coaching at international level for over 8 years currently and is in her fifth cycle as Lead Coach, England Hockey U18 Girls. This combined with her senior international playing career, spanning 10 years and as Irish Captain, provides Sarah with an in-depth understanding of what it takes to achieve and be your best under pressure.
Sarah's experience has allowed her to shape a philosophy toward a flourishing model of coaching that truly looks at the holistic development of people, creating environments that allow individuals, teams and organisations to flourish.
Laurine Delforge: I fought the law
Laurine Delforge is an international field hockey umpire and a Belgian field hockey player. She was the winner of the 2016 FIH umpire award and was one of the two first women to umpire at the Euro Hockey League.
Delforge started playing hockey when she was 6. She started playing at Royal Parc Hockey Club in Brussels, but later moved to Royal Antwerp. Delforge currently plays for Royal Antwerp in the top Belgian league. She played for all the Belgian youth squads, but has never played for the Belgian national women's team. However, she has been a member of the national indoor field hockey squad since 2011.
Delforge started umpiring serious in 2008, and received her first international appointment in 2012. In 2016 Delforge won the Golden Whistle for best umpire of the year in Belgium. The same year she umpired in the Olympic field hockey tournament at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She made history being the first Olympic debutant to also umpire the Olympic final. She also won the 2016 International Hockey Federation (FIH) Umpire of the Year award. During the 2018 Women World Cup in London, UK, Delforge umpired her 100th international game. She received the FIH 'Golden Whistle' for this achievement. She went on to umpire the final in that tournament.
In 2018 Delforge made history, together with fellow umpire Michelle Meister, by being the first female umpire in the Euro Hockey League, the annual European men's field hockey cup competition.
Mateusz Grochal: Inspiration and education.
From the beginning of his adventure with hockey, a Wart Poznań club player. He combines his field hockey adventure with a coaching career. From 2014 he was the coach of the senior team of Warta Poznań and in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 the Savona Hockey coach (Italy) during the Indoor season.
In youth groups, Mateusz Grochal worked in the Grunwald Poznań team (2013-2016) and from 2016 until today with AZS Politechnika Poznańska. In the national teams in 2009-2017, a video analyst at the PZHT central training groups, in 2013-2018 was a coach of the Polish national youth boys team U16. From 2018, he was a Polish national team coach during the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
The greatest successes with national teams include:
2014 - a silver medal at the EuroHockey Youth Championship U16 in Vienna;
2016 - a silver medal at the EuroHockey Indoor Women Championship in Minsk;
2017 - gold medal at the EuroHockey5s Youth U16 Championship in Wałcz;
2018 - 5th place at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
Successes with clubs:
2010/2011 - Italian Indoor Championship U21;
2010/2011 and 2018/2019 - Bronze Medal of the Polish Championships;
2017/2018 - Silver medal of the National Youth Olympics;
2018/2019 - Gold medal of the National Youth Olympics and the Polish Indoor Vice-Championship for U16;
In addition to professional and coaching activities in 2011-2017 - a member of the Development Committee at the European Hockey Federation, in 2014-2016 - coach and coordinator of youth staff at PZHT. From 2019 - PZHT development specialist.