In the World Cup selection, the names of the talents Thijs van Dam (21) and Lars Balk (22) fall first. They did not play the European Championships in Amsterdam last year, but have won a place in the World Cup selection. Also the experienced Jeroen Hertzberger (32), the attacker who returned to the Dutch squad after an absence of 1.5 years in April, has been selected for the World Championship.
In August, the Dutch team started with a training group of 28 players. ‘We have had a good training period, in which all 28 players who were part of the training group presented themselves strongly. Now, with this selection, we are entering the final phase of preparation, in which we also play a number of international matches, ‘says Caldas.
Keepers of Orange
Pirmin Blaak (30) has been appointed by Caldas as the first keeper. Sam van der Ven (29) is second keeper. ‘The past tournaments have gained both goalkeepers a lot of experience. Both have thereby become stronger. For this tournament we decided to designate Pirmin as the first keeper, ‘says national coach Caldas about the two keepers of the Dutch team.
Striking absentees in the selection are the European champions Bjorn Kellerman, Jorrit Croon and Joep de Mol. The talents Croon and Mol have been designated as a reserve for the World Cup. They will be in Valencia next week, where the Dutch Men will play a four-country tournament against Ireland, England and Spain. They join India after the pool phase. Croon and Mol won last year the European Championship with Orange. Croon was in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro with his seventeen years the youngest hockey Olympic ever. Kellerman also missed the Champions Trophy in Breda earlier this year.
For routine Dutchmen Robbert Kemperman, Billy Bakker, Valentin Verga and Jeroen Hertzberger, it will be their third World Cup. They won bronze in 2010 and won silver in 2014 when the World Cup was played in The Hague. Striker Mirco Pruyser (29) makes his debut at a World Cup, just like Lars Balk, Thierry Brinkman, Thijs van Dam, Jonas de Geus, Sam van der Ven, Bob the Guardian and Floris Wortelboer.
‘We are top athletes and go to India to win the World Cup’
Naturally, the Dutch national team will play for the gold medal and the first world title since 1998, but Caldas does make a comment. ‘ We are top athletes and go to India to win the World Cup. But we realize that we are not the only country that has that objective. The competition is huge, it is close together. We therefore want this World Cup to be better on all fronts than we have ever been, both technically and tactically, physically and mentally. If we can bring that, we take part in the title. I’m convinced of that.’
Swing competition at Hurley
After the four-country tournament in Valencia, the Dutch Men will play against Belgium on Sunday, November 11 (3 PM) in Brussels. Just before leaving for India, the Dutch national team plays an international match against Ireland. This Rabo Super Series competition will be finished on 19 November at 7 pm on the Hurley site in Amstelveen. Tickets are on sale via hockey.nl/rabo-super-serie and is considered the ‘farewell race’ of the Orange for the World Cup.
The ‘Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup’ in India starts on November 28th. The Netherlands takes action for the first time on 1 December and takes part in group D against Malaysia, Germany and Pakistan.
|December 1st||12.30 hours *||Netherlands – Malaysia|
|5th of December||12.30 hours *||Germany – Netherlands|
|December 9th||14.30 hours *||The Netherlands – Pakistan|
(* Dutch time)
Ticket sales and more information about the tournament via the FIH website .
World Cup selection Dutch national team
|Seve from Ass||HGC|
|Pirmin Blaak (K)||Orange-Red|
|Thijs van Dam||Rotterdam|
|Jonas de Geus||Almere|
|Sam van der Ven (K)||HGC|
|Bob the Guardian||Orange-Red|
|Mink van der Weerden||Orange-Red|
|Sander de Wijn||Kampong|
Reserves: Jorrit Croon (Bloemendaal) and Joep de Mol (Oranje-Rood).