Timmo Kranstauber: from assistant to comeback kid at Cartouche

Actually, he already had his stick hanging from the willows. Timmo Kranstauber grew up at Cartouche, played in the Dutch big league for HGC and Rotterdam and finished at the club of his youth. This season he assisted coach Michiel van der Struijk, until the team sounded the alarm during the winter break.

It was a beautiful, almost endearing image. Surrounded by no one, Kranstauber was still on the field ten minutes after the game on Sunday. Smiling, he watched as his (still far from playing) children were fooling around on the mat. The field that just before was the platform of him, his teammates and opponent HBS.

Since the winter break, he, like other veteran Bas Oostendorp, has been participating again. Kranstauber: ‘In short, we didn’t have enough points. As the season progressed, it became more and more exciting. Before it would get really exciting, we wanted to see if it helped to change course. After a call from the team, Bas and I finally joined the team a little after the winter break.’


For Kranstauber, his comeback took some getting used to. “As an assistant coach, your role is obviously different than as a player. Now I make mistakes and do things differently than as an assistant how you think you should be. Also physical was the income. Bas played in Heren 4 or 5 with friends. He’s always fit, but the last time I was really on the pitch was a few years ago. After my retirement, I did a lot of sports, but I didn’t really play hockey. With that, I lacked explosiveness and speed of action. That’s one of the reasons why we didn’t just start two games before the end of the competition, but earlier.’

His return was not a complete surprise, according to Kranstauber. “When you’re on the player list, you know there’s a chance. In addition, we were unlucky that three players left in the preparation period. We also have a number of long-term injuries. The selection was getting thinner and thinner, so I saw the list slowly move up.’

At both Kranstauber and Oostendorp, the experience was bursting. Neither of them seemed to have lost their drive either. Kranstauber: ‘Steven Doorman succeeded me as assistant. It was also my express wish to step out of that role when I was on the field myself. Now I focus entirely on playing myself. I try to help the team where I can, whether that’s with a tactical move or a goal. And it’s nice to play with Bas again. We still know each other from the youth teams at Cartouche and have played together for so many years.’

Cartouche player Bas Oostendorp (with number 44) has not yet forgotten how to play at the top level. Photo: Gerard Spaans/Orange Pictures

Tension at the bottom

Kranstauber was moderately enthusiastic about his own achievements. ‘One week I’m better than the next. At the same time, it’s cool to see other guys step up when things aren’t going so well for me, like Mats (Dicke, ed.) who took three penalty corners against HBS last Sunday. What’s always fun is having three points in the bag during the week. Especially if you get it in games that matter.’

“At the end of the day, I prefer to play for the top spots,” Kranstauber said. ‘But there’s also something about the excitement at the bottom. Although we have strengthened our ninth place, I don’t think we are completely safe yet. If you look at the programs of the teams below us, they have a harder time on paper. At the same time, it remains the Promotion Class. Since it existed, crazy results always follow. It is rare for a top three to stand head and shoulders above the rest. We’re not there yet, but the fact that we’ve won the last two games is obviously a boost.’

Timmo Kranstauber is back on track within the lines. Photo: Gerard Spaans/Orange Pictures



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