The Red Lions will play their last two official games of the year in the Hockey Pro League against the Netherlands on Friday (6.30 p.m.) and Sunday (2.00 p.m.).
This double confrontation, relocated from Rotterdam to Amsterdam due to the new wave of coronavirus, will take place behind closed doors at the Wagener Stadion in Amstelveen and will mark the entry into competition of the Oranje under their new coach Jeroen Delmee. The Belgians, Olympic and world champions, remain on two convincing successes in front of Germany, a month ago, at the opening of the tournament in Uccle.
Revived from their internship with the COIB in Belek, the Red Lions are keen to end 2021 in style. Even if 8 other Pro League matches remain on their program in 2022, the world No. 1 perceive these two flat country derbies as decisive in the defense of their coronation in the Pro League. “If we beat the Netherlands twice, I think the title will be practically acquired,” said John-John Dohmen last week in Belek.
The Netherlands, down to 4th in the world after their 5th place at the Olympics, will present this weekend a completely rejuvenated selection compared to Tokyo. Exit the Jeroen Hertzberger, Billy Bakker, Mink van der Weerden, Robbert Kemperman or Mirco Pruijser, now only Thierry Brinkman, Sander de Wijn and goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak will note against the Belgians more than 100 capes to their credit. A famous contrast compared to the core of Michel van den Heuvel, where most of the executives, except Thomas Briels, have signed for a few more seasons.
Striking statistic: the number of selections of Dohmen (418), captain Félix Denayer (344) and Cédric Charlier (338), i.e. 1,106 capes between them only, greatly exceeds that of the entire Dutch contingent convened this weekend. end (891).
For Arthur Van Doren, this will not change the situation. “I have been playing in the Netherlands for a few years now and I know the qualities of their players. A lot of young people are knocking on the door of their national team and they are not lacking in talent, ”explained the Bloemendaal defender. “It will be a new challenge for us, because a lot of guys that we knew very well are no longer there. But against the Netherlands, it still remains duels of prestige. We will do everything we can to keep the audience behind their screens at home happy, ”concluded ‘King Arthur’, two-time best player in the world (2017, 2018).