Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Dutch hockey life: ‘We all grew up wanting to be Billy Bakker’

Jisk Rijnders and Julius Tijsseling didn’t like each other when they first played on opposite sides of the pitch as young teens. You wouldn’t have realised their early years’ distaste one lunchtime this week.

With the imposing floodlights of the Wagener Stadium visible through the leafy trees, the pair were thudding balls into the backboard at THC Hurley, nestled within the beautiful Amsterdamse Bos park and gardens. The serene summer environment wasn’t about to be broken here. “We just couldn’t get along back then but now we are best friends,” says Jisk.

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