After twelve seasons, international Margot van Geffen leaves Den Bosch for a new challenge. The 32-year-old hard-core midfielder makes the switch to HGC. The departure of Van Geffen is the next blow to Den Bosch, which has already seen two other pillars announce their farewells in recent days with Lidewij Welten (Kampong) and Marloes Keetels (retires) .
The ink of Van Geffen’s contract with her new club is barely dry. Thursday at 4 p.m. she signed a two-year contract. At Den Bosch, Van Geffen’s decision to leave has been known for some time. Last December she informed the club management that her future does not lie with the Oosterplas.
“The first half of this season felt too much like routine for me. After every Olympics you end up in a kind of black hole, but in the end it always disappears. Not this time. This time hockey kept costing me a lot of energy. I went to find out exactly what it was. I concluded from the fact that I’ve been in the same environment for years. I am ready for a new challenge’, explains two-time Olympic champion Van Geffen in her surprising transfer.
“I think it would be fantastic to take those girls in tow and share my experience with them”
When the 221-time international announced her decision to the club, she did not yet know what the future would bring her, she says. Her thoughts raced from left to right. On one occasion she tended to give up her stick and focus on her social career. The other time, she felt it would be a shame to end her hockey career.
HGC already knocked on Van Geffen’s door in November, but then it was too early for her to seriously think about it. She was still too inclined to stop playing hockey. It wasn’t until February that the flame started to burn again. Since then, Van Geffen has also spoken with other clubs, but she got the best feeling at HGC, she says. Her intention is to continue through to the Paris Olympics, if she continues to feel good physically and mentally.
“Last week I took the plunge. I find it difficult to explain exactly why I chose HGC. It is a choice that I have mainly made on feeling. I can see myself getting in the car, driving to HGC and putting on their uniform. I had good conversations with Robbert-Jan de Vos (head coach) and Mark van Loon and Andries Korff of the top hockey committee. Moreover, it is a super nice team with great ambitions and I think it would be fantastic to take those girls in tow and share my experience with them. I’m really looking forward to it’, says Van Geffen.
“I want to cheer for a penalty corner again like you’ve become national champion”
As a child, Van Geffen started playing hockey at Forward. That is the club that later merged into Tilburg. When she was eighteen, she made the switch to Rotterdam, which then played in the Dutch big league. Two years later, she forced a transfer to top club Den Bosch. There she became an international player by making her debut in the Dutch national team in 2011. With Den Bosch she won eight national titles and six European Cups in all those years.
Her choice shows similarities with that of teammate Welten. The dominance with Den Bosch is no longer perfect for her. ‘I grew up at Forward with the idea that you have to fight for every meter. Every Sunday felt like a final. That is not the case at Den Bosch. Now the beautiful weeks are of course coming again, with the play-offs and the EHL. But I also want to cheer for a penalty corner as if you have become national champion, as I see happening at other clubs. I think it would be cool to end my career the way it started.’
With the denouement of the season in the distance, Van Geffen is on the eve of the end of an era at Den Bosch. ‘Since the first second I have felt welcome at Den Bosch. I have learned a lot and have had great years. I am proud of the many awards we have won and the many friendships I have built. I will do everything I can to end my career at Den Bosch on a good note. It’s time to fire one more time and win the league title and the EHL.”