Each week, AFL Europe in combination with Belushi’s will take a look at one of our star players competing in fixtures across the continent in Player Spotlight.
Having not played the game of AFL as a kid, Maarten Oude Lansink has now found that this sport is perfect for his attributes and has created a passion that he has not felt before in a sporting environment.
Growing up in the Netherlands, Maarten grew up around more traditional European sports, until he moved over to Sydney for University where he found something that is now a major part of his life.
The unique combination of fitness and physicality seen in AFL is enticing for Europeans to be a part of and Maarten was no exception, immediately eager to play an official game after some University training sessions.
“When I lived in Sydney I first came in touch with AFL, and there’s nothing like this game. Hence I decided to have a shot at it, the combination of strength, fitness and skills were really appealing to me. It’s the first contact sport I ever played and it is great,” said Maarten.
On the verge of playing the game in Australia, this passion was halted after a work move to Canada. Still wanting to pursue a career in the game, Maarten moved home and found the European powerhouse club of the Amsterdam Devils.
Photo by Danny Radis Photography
Starting to officially play with the Devils in 2018, Maarten has played the game for a year now and is loving the culture and mate ship that comes with this sport.
With his height and strength, Maarten is a perfect build for an athletic modern day Australian football ruckman and has made great improvements within only one year of playing.
“My strengths are the combination of my length, being 2 metres tall and the fact that I am fairly athletic for someone my height. As a ruck it allows me to help out my team mates a lot by keeping them clear of the opponents and ability to set up clearances,” said Maarten.
Within his first year of playing, Maarten has been a part of various AFL Europe tournaments including the 2019 Champions League in Amsterdam.
His local side took out the trophy for the first time in the clubs history and Maarten’s efforts were a major reason for this.
Maarten and his Devils side were able to take this form into the 2019 AFL Netherlands competition, where they recently were crowned premiers for this seasons competition another amazing effort, where Maarten shone in the midfield.
Adding to these accolades, Maarten was selected to play for the Netherlands Flying Dutchmen national side, where selectors saw him to be a part of the countries best players.
Playing for his country in the 2019 Euro Cup Maarten again was a stand out player and has come a long way in such a short period of time.
Maarten is quickly becoming one of Europe’s top players and has loved being a part of a team with great camaraderie.
He is a great advocate for AFL around the globe and a real role model for people wanting to be a part of the sport no matter where they are from.
Special thanks to Belushi’s for helping grow the game in Europe