The Bees have flown in 4 overseas players to join the club this season. Julius Nagel joined men’s 1st team from German Club, Flottbek in Hamburg. Rolf Steenmetser signed from Dutch giants, Pinoke. Mel Gobel signed from German club ATV 1845 Leipzig. And finally, Rosario Villagra made the journey from Argentina via Brazil to Nottingham from Club Ciudad de Buenos Aires and before that, Popeye Beisbol Club.

Julius Nagel Rolf Steenmetser
Mel Gobel Rosario Villagra

Former men’s first team captain, all time top goal scorer, David Griffiths, had a few questions for the foreign quartet.
DG – Welcome to Beeston HC, the Centre of the Universe! Have you enjoyed the start to the season with Beeston Hockey Club and enjoyed our English welcome?
JN – Thank you very much. I couldn’t be happier with the warm welcome here and with the start of the season obviously. The boys made it pretty easy for me both on and off the pitch.

RS – I have definitely enjoyed the start of the season. I have had a very warm welcome at this club and they made me feel like I was one of the team since the day I arrived.

MG – 4 games, 12 points, top of the league!! – I think we did well in the first games of the season. (smile) Thanks to the girls and the club who made my arrival really easy and welcoming.
RV – Thank you, yes I enjoyed it so much, it was a warm welcome and since my first day here I felt incredibly happy.
DG – Julius, Rolf and Rosario – you are all over here studying at one of our two top Universities, which University are you at and what are you studying?

JN – Are there two top Universities here? (Just kidding!) 😉 I’m at the University of Nottingham and doing my Masters in Entrepreneurship there.

RS – I am studying Management at the University of Nottingham.
RV – I am doing my Masters in International Relations at Nottingham Trent University.
DG – Mel – you are on a gap year, other than playing hockey for Beeston what else do you have planned?
MG – Ireland and Scotland – I would make some trips to famous places and cities. After my gap year I will make an internship, working for BHP Hockeycamps and want to study economics in Germany.
DG – Had you heard of Beeston Hockey Club before applying for University in Nottingham?
JN – Of course. I knew Beeston from playing in the Euro Hockey League for many years. In addition to that my former coach, friend and England goalkeeper Jimi Lewis [former Great Britain Goalkeeper] was connecting me with the Bees. Even though he used to play for the rivals Cannock he recommended Beeston as a great family club and as a perfect fit for me. So far he was absolutely right!
RS – Yes I had heard of Beeston HC before applying for University of Nottingham. I was actually first in contact with Beeston before I decided to study at the University of Nottigham.

MG – I heard for the first time of Beeston Hockey Club when they played in the Euro Hockey League.

RV – Yes, I have been following the club for more than a year, I already knew about its success.
DG – Tell me something famous about Nottingham?
JN – Robin Hood, Nottingham Forest and Crisis.
RS – I think Nottingham is known for Robin Hood, although I haven’t seen much of Robin Hood here yet.
MG – Robin Hood is something which I associate with Nottingham in the first moment.

RV – Well, I can come up with too many things but lets say the Goose Fair, Robin Hood, and I really want to thank Nottingham for the creation of ibuprofen, the golden discovery for athletes ha!

DG – Have you heard of Brian Clough?
JN – Unfortunately yes as I’m a big football fan and supporter of my local club Hamburger SV. They lost 1980 in the European Cup Final against Forest and I think he was the famous manager there, right.

RS – I have never heard of Brian Clough.

MG – Brian Clough was a successful Manager of the local football club Nottingham Forest and he wore green sweatshirts which is the reason why Beeston decided to make the new sweatshirts for the Coaches and Managers green. But I just know these facts, because I read the article on the website. (smile)
RV – No much, but if we are talking about the same person, was he the football player and also the best manager England never had?
DG – What’s your favourite place you’ve visited in Nottingham so far?
JN – There are a few. Wollaton Park, Brown’s and the terrace of the Walton’s Hotel. The University Park Campus is impressive as well.
RS – My favourite place I visited in Nottingham is the Walton Hotel. A lovely place to be with friends.

MG – I’ve visited Nottingham Castle which with Wollaton Hall is one of my favorite places! The historical building and magnificent view over Nottingham is stunning!

RV –  I loved the Wollaton Hall and had so much fun when I went there with my teammates Sylvia and Mel.
DG – We have been busy improving the facilities at Nottingham Hockey Centre over the last few years, how do the facilities compare at Beeston HC to your club back home?
JN – I think the facilities here are great. In Germany most of the clubs do not have that much space to build more than one pitch. The meeting rooms and the clubhouse have a really high standard; equal calibre with the top clubs back home. Ollie Willars’ feature that each of us has its own place with name and number in the locker room is an awesome add on.
RS – The club is just a bit smaller. I think there is no big difference for the rest.
MG – Nottingham Hockey Centre is amazing! Three pitches and one small one are good requirements to manage a lot of teams. In my club back home we have just one pitch which makes coordination more difficult. Beeston makes excellent work with their juniors. For example the ‘Junior Development Academy Rota’ which is a great opportunity for the young kids to learn more skills from experienced first team players. Finally, in Leipzig it isn’t as professional as in Nottingham so I really enjoy my time on the pitch and after games in the clubhouse with yummy food and drinks!

RV – I have to say that Beeston HC might be one of the nicest hockey facilities in the world. My club at home is in the city and we share everything with other sports which makes it a little busy. But I love it, the hockey pitch is great. Beeston’s pitch is new and it is actually one of the best I have ever played on.

DG – I have a passion for travelling too, I often refer to Beeston HC being the ‘Centre of the Universe’, if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

JN –  I love travelling, but right now I’d like to be here, collecting points and having fun with my teammates!

RS – I would be in Curacao on the beach with family and friends. I love the sun and the beach.
MG – At the moment I would prefer traveling to places with higher temperatures and less rainfall! England is one of my favorite countries but my body needs time to get used to the low temperatures and rain (smile).
RV – I would be in Hawaii with my best friends drinking a Margarita at the beach.
DG – And finally, what do you miss most about being back in your home country?
JN – In Hamburg we have two rivers, a big port and the north-sea isn’t far away. The boys sometimes make fun of it, but I honestly miss the water and the fresh sea air sometimes.
RS – My family, girlfriend and friends.
MG – My family and friends but luckily we have FaceTime and whatsapp in this century which makes communication a lot easier.

RV – I definitely miss Sundays with my family. This is the day where pretty much all Argentine families get together and eat steak, “Argentine Asado” wouldn’t change this day for anything.

We wish Julius, Rolf, Melle and Rosario all the best for the rest of the season. The Bees will be looking to maintain their unbeaten record this season as the ladies travel to the University of Durham on Saturday and the men face Kent rivals Canterbury on Sunday at Nottingham Hockey Centre at 2pm.
If you live overseas and would like the opportunity to come and play for the Bees next season, and would like to study at a top University please contact David Griffiths via email [email protected]