[This article has been taken from the latest PUSH Hockey Magazine, if you would like to subscribe to the printed magazine click here or you can now subscribe monthly to premium content by logging in or creating an account below]
[img_assist|nid=3578|title=Moritz Furste for Germany|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=150|height=200]He’s a playmaker with a real eye for goal, and one of the most complete players in the modern game – indoors and out. Push caught up with Olympic gold medalist Moritz FÜrste to find out how Germany’s campaign to retain their Olympic title is shaping up.
So how are the preparations for London 2012 going?
Quite well. We are currently in our fourth camp of this season. We have to fit preparations in with the Bundesliga commitments of the players. We are together Monday to Thursday this week, then next week we play the pre-Olympic tournament in London.
It is still the club season in Germany so it is quite tough at the moment and it is going to be like this until the beginning of June. Then the Bundesliga finishes, so we can focus on our Olympic preparations.
How does the state of play now compare with the same period before the Beijing Games?
It’s very similar, except of course the team is different. We are pretty focused on being fit at the right time. So all the preparation is geared towards the end of July, early August – which is exactly how it was done four years ago. Now we know most of the teams that will be at the London Olympic Games,
How do you see the tournament shaping up?
In our group [Germany, Netherlands, Korea, New Zealand, India and Belgium], at least five of the six teams will be fighting for the semi-finals. We know that, and we will not be underestimating any side and will be focusing on each game.
[img_assist|nid=3579|title=Moritz Furste – Leonhard Uijlenbroek/Euro Hockey League|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=143]Does having the tournament in Europe favour the European countries?
I don’t think so. In Beijing three European teams finished top four. It is going to be really tough this time. Obviously Australia are one of the big favourites. And, as I said, at least five teams in our group could play in the semis. I don’t think that has anything to do with where the Olympic Games is being played. If anything, there will be home advantage for Great Britain, but fortunately we don’t have them in the opening rounds. I think it is going to be a really exciting tournament.
How did you start playing hockey?
I was about five, at Uhlenhorster [hockey club] at the Kindergarten –
not sure what that is called[!]. And I never stopped. My parents were playing so there was no choice for me, they were going.
Can you be a full-time hockey player in Germany?
Every player in the German squad is doing something outside of hockey. I am studying, doing my Masters thesis at the moment. Some of the squad are already working, but most of them are students. It isn’t easy to handle both things but having a dual-career is quite important in Germany.
We missed you in the Euro Hockey League before Christmas, why weren’t you playing?
I tore my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament – knee]. That was pretty tough but now I am back on track and it is working well.
What stick do you use?
Date of Birth: 28.10.1984
Club: Uhlenhorster HC (Hamburg)
International debut: vs Poland 11.11.2005, won 4-3
Major international tournaments: Olympic Games 2008 (gold); World Cup 2006 (gold), 2010 (silver); European Championships 2007 (4th) 2009 (silver) 2011 (gold); Champions Trophy 2007 (gold), 2008 (5th) 2009 (silver) 2010 (bronze) 2011 (5th); Indoor World Cup 2011 (gold)
Personal honours: International Hockey Federation All Star
team 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007; Euro Hockey League Most Valuable Player 2007-8, 2009-10, Club honours: Euro Hockey League championship 2007-8, 2009-10.