We are delighted to announce that South Africa's Justin Reid-Ross has joined the EVO family as a sponsored player and brand ambassador. Justin is one of the world's leading players: a dragflick specialist who is the all-time top foreign goalscorer in the Dutch Hoofdklasse (the best hockey league in the world). Justin plays for one of the world's strongest clubs, AH&BC Amsterdam. He has won the Hockey India League and represented South Africa at multiple tournaments, including the London 2012 Olympic Games.
As part of our work with Justin, we will be supporting him with coaching development opportunities. He will also be drawing upon our elite performance team of skill and movement specialists - working together to build upon his existing performance programme - assisting him with the 1% extra that makes the crucial difference at elite levels.
Justin will be one of EVO Hockey's specialist coaches, bringing his phenomenal expertise to both young players and coaches around the UK and internationally. Find out more about him in our interview, below.
Justin Reid-Ross - the interview
- Welcome to EVO! How do you feel about getting involved?
Thanks guys! I'm really excited to be involved. I love what you're doing and I look forward to working with some other top class players and coaches.
- For those who may not know you (yet!) what have been the personal highlights of your hockey career so far?
I think the major highlights have been participating in the London 2012 Olympics, becoming the highest scoring foreign player in the Dutch league competition, and winning the inaugural Hockey India League. Those have all been great moments for me.
- You are renowned for your dragflicking. Who taught you and how did you get so good?
I am completely self-taught. I discovered the skill watching old VHS tapes of hockey matches and figured it was a good way to score some more goals. I spend hours watching and mimicking the technique and after a few years I developed my own, rather unique, technique.
- Congratulations on your recent contract extension at Amsterdam! How does it feel to have extended you stay?
I'm super stoked to be continuing at Amsterdam. It's a great club and they have really looked after me since I joined. I am lucky enough to share the field with some top players and a great bunch of guys.
- What is the Amsterdam playing and training environment like and how does it differ from other places you have played?
Amsterdam is the oldest and one of the most successful clubs in the Netherlands. With that history comes a fierce training environment where players constantly push each other to get the best out of themselves. We train a lot of match-specific situations and lots of small games. Playing for Amsterdam, especially at home at the Wagener Stadium, is always a special feeling.
- What are your objectives for the rest of the season and the season beyond?
Now that the season is over the objective for me is to catch up on some rest for a week or two and then start back up in the gym and on the field, making sure the skills stay sharp for when pre-season starts again. The personal goal for the next few seasons is to be fitter than ever and score the goals the team needs to push for the Dutch Championship.
- If you had one piece of advice for a young player looking to develop their hockey, what would it be?
Be obsessed! Nobody ever got anywhere by doing things half-hearted. If there is something you want to improve on, you need to realise early on that it's going to take many hours and many more sacrifices to achieve. If you can accept that and get on with it, you're heading in the right direction.