While most countries are in the depth of their summers off, Maurice Elliott’s club season only came to an end on Sunday as he helped his German club Deutscher Sportsklub Dusseldorf to promotion from the German regional leagues.
The former Pembroke man and Irish international was on the mark in a 4-1 success over Crefelder HTC in the western division as they finished second in the table, rising to the national second tier for next term.
Elliott relocated to Germany in 2017 where he now works with Trace One as a Product Support Specialist while also playing and coaching with the club. Previously, he played professionally for a season with Beerschot in Belgium in between spells with Pembroke.
Now 35, the 20-cap man is still playing a very high standard of hockey. DSD lost out to a very strong Rot Weiss Koln second team featuring three former Olympians – with plenty of medals between them – in the form of Phillip Zellar and the Wess brothers Timo and Benni.
That left Dusseldorf with it all to do going into the last day of the season with promotion and the league on the line. Deutscher Sportsklub Dusseldorf needed to win to secure promotion and hope that Ulenhorst Mulheim’s seconds lost to win the league outright. Unfortunately for DSD, UHM won their final game against Oberhausener, pipping DSD to the championship.
However, the convincing 4-1 win for Dusseldorf over Crefeld was enough to secure promotion to the “Bundseliga 2” for the new season, and the scene was set for the celebrations that followed.
Elliott was coached by Tobias Bergman, a former Swiss International and former team mate of Ronan Gormley of Crefeld, in a team bolstered by the mid-year arrival of three-time Olympic medallist Oli Korn.
Played in 30-degree heat, DSD got off to an early lead with the Mertgins brothers Lukas and Henrik combining nicely with Henrik, a German national hopeful, converting on his reverse stick.
Rachid Sadou made it 2-0 before Elliott got his goal when Korn drove in from the right of the circle to set up the Dubliner who flicked home from nine yards.
Crefelder got one back from a stroke but Henrik Mertgens completed the win in the closing minutes, linking up with Italian international Danniela Coilli.
In a packed hockey weekend, it was the club’s third promotion following the men’s and ladies second teams who were also promoted from their respective leagues.
For Elliott, he told The Hook the ambition for the club is to reach the top tier in the next few seasons and lay the base for their youth team to aspire to, particularly their Under-14 side became the German Grand Meisters at their level.