Germany will enter their 14th successive EuroHockey men’s semi-final since 1991 with a tub-thumping pre-match speech, if their viral team huddle is anything to go by ahead of their Netherlands clash in front of a packed Sparkassen Park on Monday.
Before their 3-0 victory, Rot-Weiss-Köln’s Timur Oruz rounded up his troops and shouted to fight for each other “even if they might be behind or have pain in their legs”.
Oruz, who is type 1 diabetic, continued in a video which went viral in Germany: “More, more, more and more. And then that makes it so fun. And then we’re really in the tournament. And then things really get going for us. Let’s go, men.”
Following confirmation of their passage to the semi-finals, with a tightly-contested win over France, he then added of Friday’s opponents: “At the end of the day, we’re the better team, the tight-knit squad that will stand up to England. The mood here will carry us. We’re keen to beat the English and make it to the final.”
“Boy, at such a motivational speech, I think I would also give everything. Strong words,” was one such comment on social media.
“About to take my hockey stick and play along… I don’t even play hockey,” said another.
German coach André Henning revealed to Rheinische Post that Oruz was the perfect choice for the pre-match energy.
“He has an irrepressible will – the bigger the hurdle, the more he wants to go over it, with all his energy, stubbornly,” he said.
“Maybe it has something to do with his history when he was told that competitive sport is hardly possible with diabetes.”
Recalling the dramatic last eight win over England in the World Cup, Henning added: “England hurt us a lot at the World Cup, we didn’t find the right approach.”
The viral clip of Oruz sparked memories of he famous changing room speech given by Christoph Bechmann in the 2014 Euro Hockey League.
At the time his side trailed RC Bruxelles 2-0 in the semi-final.
Harvestehuder surged back to win 3-2. They then went on to defeat hosts Oranje Zwart in the final on a shootout, after a 2-2 game.
“When Christoph gets going he’s a bit too fast for me,” Harvestehuder’s Richie Dawson-Smith said at the time. “I couldn’t translate it word-for-word but you just get inspired. We just needed to play our game, create chances, get corners and make opportunities for ourselves.”