Goalie Martijn Oosterwijk (31) of Groningen starts his seventh Ice Hockey World Cup in Croatia on Monday. “I think we belong to a higher level.”
Hi Martin, how are you already on the way?
,,Welcome! Yes, on the way, but not yet to Croatia. I am now driving from Groningen to Tilburg for the last training session with the Dutch team. I’m going 500 more miles today. We look forward to it. Especially because of course no international matches have been played in the last two years. ”
She will play in Division 2-A next week against Spain, China, Croatia and Israel. Not exactly the best countries in ice hockey, I think?
No, not that, ha ha. The Netherlands is now playing the fourth tier. When we get promoted, we play Division IB. Above that are Division I and Division I, which includes major countries such as Canada, Finland, and the United States. Of course we can’t match it, but Division IB, which we’ve played in before, should really be possible. I think we belong to that level.”
What are your chances of promotion?
It’s still a bit hard to appreciate, because international ice hockey has also been silent for about two years. We have to win the group, then we are promoted. I think China will be the strongest opponent. This team also played as the host country at the Winter Olympics of course. After that comes Croatia and then Spain and Israel, I think.”
With UNIS Flyers Heerenveen, I recently won the BeNe-League, the Netherlands and Belgium Championships, after the national championships went to HIJS Hokij. Do you still have a good year?
“Yes, you can say that. We are especially happy that everything has started again. Nice that it is possible again, for a full stadium to play ice hockey. I am also very excited about it.”
Are you a professional athlete as an international ice hockey player?
“No, if only that were true. I completed my studies in sports management last year and recently started working in a watch and jewelry store on the city’s Stoeldraaierstraat. That’s fine.”
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