A Dutch club hockey player is set to wear the same mask worn by Sam Ward following the international exposure gained by the GB international wearing the face protection.
Ferry Wortelboer, who plays for HC Push in the Netherlands’ 1st Division, was injured last month following a clash with an opposition player in a duel for the ball.
Wortelboer has been in hospital for checks and although there is no lasting damage, the Dutchman fears that a recurrence could develop over time.
He has now enquired as to the mask worn by the GB and Old Georgians forward – a raptor mask from 3D Ortho Products – after watching him at the Euros and the Olympics.
“The whistle was blown for a fault against me and therefore a free out. I tried to take it quickly but the guy placed his foot behind the ball stopping me from continuing,” he said of how the injury occurred.
“I tried to continue with the ball but got my stick stuck in his stick. While I continued a few steps he purposely lifted his stick in the air and hit me straight in the eye with the toe of the stick.”
Luckily for Wortelboer, 25, he ended up with only a small black eye and he has been in hospital twice over the last three weeks to check out the progress of healing.
“For now no lasting damage on the retina but the problem is that this could always develop over time,” he added.
“For this reason I have now been looking for face and eye protection either in the form of raptor or a similar product.”
Wortelboer has been playing since he was 12 and has played in most positions during his career. He started in the back before moving to goalkeeper for a year. He is currently playing as a left or right winger but ended up with his injury while playing centre midfielder.