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Taeke Taekema: the world’s most feared penalty corner specialist
14 Mar 2007 09:46

Taeke Taekema is one of the most instantly recognizable stars on the world stage. One of the world’s most feared penalty corner specialists, the Dutchman equalled the record for the most goals in a World Cup match when he smashed 5 past India in his team’s 6-1 victory in Monchengladbach in 2006. He also finished as the top goal scorer in the tournament with 11.

By Cathy Harris

Taekema was born on the 14th January 1980 in Leiderdorp, Holland. His older sister and brother both played hockey but he didn’t want to play hockey because he was playing football. His parents preferred him to play hockey and once all his friends switched to hockey he decided to try it for a year… and never looked back!!!

He started playing for the local club, Leiden (LOHC) aged about 9 before moving to HCKZ when he was 17 because he wanted to play in the highest division. He is now in his second season with Amsterdam.

Taekema lives in Amsterdam working in sports marketing and is just starting to represent hockey players, both Dutch and foreign, helping them sort out all the business side of the game so they can focus purely on playing.

He made his international debut on 28th January 2000 against Egypt and has since gone on to earn 155 caps scoring 122 goals.

The player I most admire… is Teun de Nooijer. Because he can do things that no one else can do…. he is by far the best player I have ever played with….and off the pitch he is a very down-to-earth funny guy (although I have to say that as he has been my room mate for the last 4.5 years!!!!).

From my parents I learnt....the importance of having my friends and family around me.
I handle disappointment by.....After a hockey game I sit and think about the game and work out in my own mind what could have been better and then I take my mind off it by doing non-hockey things.
The best moment of my career was....winning the semi-final at the 2004 Athens Olympics against Germany
I would like to be remembered......as a fun loving hockey player, who played hard but fair
My favourite song......”where’s your head at” by Basement Jaxx
If I could change one rule in hockey.....that all 18 players in the team can be on the team sheet, so no players have to sit in the stand.
I would pay money to watch.....the New York Mets win the World Series baseball
My idea of a perfect holiday......on the beach on a Caribbean island , in the shade, big waves and the chance of scuba diving.
My most embarassing moment..... missing two penalty strokes in the same season against the same goalkeeper. The goalkeeper is Oscar ter Weeme, the goalie from SCHC from Bilthoven. The first one was in the regular league and with the scores level at 1-1, he saved it. I scored from the next corner, but we ended up drawing 2-2. The second stroke I missed was in the second game of the play offs when I missed within the first 10 minutes. We ended up winning the game though, so it wasn’t so important after all. I would like to think we won because I missed it, but I'm sure that wasn't the case!!! When we got another stroke in the third game I didn't take it... my team mate from Spain Pol Amat took it and scored without a problem... We ended up winning the three game series and played Bloemendaal in the final - we weren’t awarded any strokes after that!

 The person who has had the greatest influence in my career....Joost Bellaart, because he has been my coach from when I was 18 through to 23, first with my club and then with the national team and he helped guide me a lot, both on and off the pitch.
I regret....nothing…as all my decisions have made me who I am now.
What would you eat and drink for dinner and who would you invite, dead or alive?

I would eat the biggest rare steak ever and I would invite (Scottish chef) Gordon Ramsay, (English comedian) Ricky Gervais, (comedian) Will Ferrell and (American golfer and wild boy) John Daly.  I think that with these people there would be lots to talk about and lots of laughs!!!

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