Netherlands: Jochems at Orange: 'A crowning achievement of a great season with Hurley'

Marleen Jochems (23) was designated a year and a half ago as a reserve for the World Cup 21 in South Africa. She eventually played that tournament in a roundabout way . The fact that she has now been called up for the Dutch national team by national coach Paul van Ass is the next step in her remarkable growth spurt.

What happened to her in the last year and a half? Jochems understands that the question is being asked, but she finds it difficult to give an answer. Although she does think that parallels can be drawn between her own development and that of her team Hurley, which qualified for the play-offs against all odds.

‘Keep working hard. That’s what we’re doing every week with Hurley this season. And that suits me personally. Persistence is one of my greatest strengths. Maybe that’s why I’m doing better than in other years. It all falls into place with me now’, concludes Jochems.

Then she thinks for a while. Then she says: ‘I do think I’ve matured in recent years. In my game. I don’t let myself go crazy so easily on the field anymore. I know better when to keep my peace. When to go and when not to go. I have improved in that. But honestly I wouldn’t know. It’s not that I do things very differently now than in the past.’

Marleen Jochems and Noor Omrani in 2022 with the world title won by the Dutch Juniors. Photo: WorldSportPics/Frank Uijlenbroek

It is a dream for me to play in the Dutch team Marleen Jochems

The World Cup 21 in South Africa was postponed due to the corona pandemic, after which Jochems was selected. In the Juniors, she mainly played as a left back. But at Hurley, the psychology student really blossoms as a middle-middle. Jochems is someone who makes a lot of dirty meters, but also joins the front. A box-to-box player, as it is called today.

When asked who Jochems is charmed by as a player, she answers Xan de Waard. ‘The meters she makes, the passes she gives. As a hockey fan I really enjoy that’, says Jochems, who was surprised last Monday by the phone call from Van Ass. He told her that he thinks she has made an important contribution to Hurley’s good results. And that he wants to give her the chance to show herself in the Orange training group.

It is a dream for me to play in the Dutch team. I can learn a lot from training with the best players in the world. I didn’t expect to be selected, but of course I hoped I would. I work hard for it. It’s a culmination of this great season with Hurley.”

Marleen Jochems on the ball in the match against Bloemendaal. Photo: Koen Suyk

Debut during the Pro League?

Jochems joins the training group together with Elzemiek Zandee from SCHC after the play-offs. The Orange will play twelve international matches in a month from June. ‘I would love to be able to wear the Orange shirt. Especially during an international match on Dutch soil. I will do everything for that. Other than that I don’t really know what to expect. I am very curious. I’m especially looking forward to it and I’ll see where the ship strands.’

Jochems lives on a pink cloud this week. She answers in the affirmative when asked if she ever thinks back to the difficult moments in her career. In addition to her initial rejection for the World Cup 21, she also suffered another huge setback. She sustained a serious knee injury three years ago. ‘Of course those were less fun moments, but they are also part of it. As I hockey, so I am outside the lines. I do not give up. I always kept on fighting.’


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