Sunday, June 07, 2009


Roc Oliva is just 19 years old, and has two silver medals to show at senior international level.

But Roc, who captains the Spanish side for the Junior World Cup, would gladly trade those medals for the Junior World Cup title.

For the two medals he has won at senior level are silvers, the first at the 2007 European Championships in Manchester where they lost 2-3 to Holland and the 2008 Beijing Olympics where a solitary goal against Germany put paid to their hopes of winning the gold medal.

“I think it will be a great tournament and the icing of the cake will be if we can win the title,”said Roc who celebrates his 20th birthday on July 18.

“To do that we need to be tight at the back and try to capitalize on the chances we create, especially as far as the penalty corners are concerned.”

Roc made his debut for Spain against Australia in 2007 and has 47 international caps and two goals to his credit. It was former Spanish coach Maurits Hendriks that gave him the break at senior level and Roc has never looked back since.

He comes from a hockey family for his father Jordi Oliva represented Spain at the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

But it does not just stop there, for his younger sister, Georgina Oliva was a member of the Spanish women’s hockey team at the Beijing Olympics as well.

“It was only natural that I played hockey, as my father was an inspiration to me,” said the youngster who hails from Terrasa in Catalonia.

Roc plays for Atletico de Terrassa HC in the Spanish league and names fellow teammate Santi Freixa as a player he admires in world hockey.

“Playing in the Olympics was a wonderful moment and though we lost in the final, I am richer in terms of experience which hopefully I can share with my team here in this tournament.