Nelson Onana

Date of birth: 01-03-2000
Hockeyplayer
Hockeyclub: Royal Pingouin Hockey Club
 

Why and when did you decide to become a hockey player?
When I was 6, my mom suggested I try hockey. It was love at first try!

Which qualities make you a good player?
My speed with and without the ball, my nerve and my determination while pressing the ball are my best qualities I think!

What is your favorite exercise during your training?
I enjoy playing little games like 3 vs 3 but on a big surface, it simulates the counter attacks we could have in a game and I can work on my speed in the free spaces. Of course shooting exercises are always a go-to!
 
What is your favorite hockey stick and why?
My RX 130 Skill of course, I have played with it for more than a year now and I love it. It is a really lightweight stick and the ball control is always great.

From which hockey player did you learn the most?
Maxime Bertrand and Nicolas Vandiest. They are two offensive players at Pingouin, both also played for two years at Watducks hockey club. They taught me a lot about being aggressive while pressing the ball, scoring goals and daring to go forward at full speed.

Do you have rituals before an important game and what are they?
Oh not really, I just do my daily routine like normal! I always eat two and a half hours before the game and if I’m feeling stressed I take my dog for a walk or beat my brother at a game of FIFA.


What do you like to do in your spare time?
I really love reading books, playing fifa with my brother and I enjoy playing cards (the “wist" and the “Rikiki" are my favorite card games). Once a week I go to the bakery for my weekly guilty pleasure.

What is the most memorable moment in your career until now?
It was a semi-final played with the U19, the game had been played in the middle of the youth tournament day of the club, so it was full of people, the most crowded game I have ever played in.

Do you have any ideas about your life after hockey?
I’ll certainly become a coach, but to be honest I’m looking forward to going on long holidays!

Which hockey player do you admire and why do you?
I try to admire technique over specific people, but if I had to point anyone out, I really like the way Simon Gougnard (from the Watducks) uses his speed to break the defensive lines.

Can you compose your dream team for us?

Gk: Vincent Vanasch

Def: Arthur Van Doren, Sander de Wijn, Moritz Furste

Mid: Tobias Hauke, John John Dohmen, Jeroen Hertzberger, Simon Gougnard

Av: Jamie Dwyer, Tom Boon, Nelson Onana

What would be your best advice for younger hockey players?

Just don’t think you have all the time of the world before having a chance to play with the main league, everything comes way faster than you expect it to, if you work hard for it. However, save some time for other activities and friends, it helps to keep your mind clear and your spirit happy!

And, as always, keep a positive view on yourself as a player; everyone has hard days, it’s the people that get through them respecting themselves and others the ones that make goals actually happen.

.