National coach Jeroen Delmée announced his European Championship selection on Tuesday afternoon . De Brabander discusses the new names, the dropouts and his choice of corner. ‘Everyone has proven to be Orange-worthy in the last Pro League series. I could have taken them all to the European Championships.’

‘The most startling choice is the absence of Seve van Ass’, Jeroen Delmée begins on the other side of the phone. He informed his group of players by email an hour or two earlier. The national coach knows that he is letting a lot of experience go by not selecting Van Ass, but still chooses to pass the 213-time international. ‘It’s mainly because we’ve been looking for the best Seve for a year and a half. And he himself is the first to look for it. He always runs into physical complaints. He can’t be the best version of himself like that.’ During the World Cup, Van Ass was substituted one-on-one, so he only played half games. Delmée doesn’t want to do that anymore. ‘This is not the Seve as we want to see it. We have no reserves at the European Championship, so everyone who comes along must be fit.’

Van Ass is not the only World Cup visitor who does not go to the European Championship seven months later. This also applies to Bloemendaal defender Teun Beins. ‘Teun has lost the competitive battle against Joep de Mol. He hasn’t done much wrong, but Joep has progressed faster lately.’

Teun Beins played the World Cup in January. Photo: William Vernes
Teun Beins played the World Cup in January. Photo: William Vernes

Compliments to De Mol 

De Mol was eliminated from the World Cup in November . Delmée says he cannot ignore the progression of the defender. ‘That should be rewarded. Joep worked very hard. I can only compliment him on how he handled losing weight for the World Cup. He has a better defensive attitude, is constructively more dominant and fits well in the forward game.’

Due to the loss of Teun Beins, Jasper Brinkman and Boris Burkhardt, Delmée chooses only one real cornerman with Jip Janssen. “I think that the progression of a player counts more than taking a second corner,” says the national coach. ‘We still have some alternatives within the group, and some other tricks. But I’ll keep that to myself for now.’

Joep de Mol (left) and Thijs van Dam (right) during last week's four country tournament. Photo: David Ramirez Rodriguez
Joep de Mol (left) and Thijs van Dam (right) during last week’s four country tournament. Photo: David Ramirez Rodriguez

Telgenkamp’s goal orientation 

The newest name in the selection is that of Duco Telgenkamp . The Kampong striker has played six international matches so far, in which he scored five times. Duco did a good job. During the Pro League, but also during the training sessions and during the four-country tournament in Spain. It brings with it a certain purposefulness. I’m sure he will score goals.’

Delmée takes six strikers and four midfielders to the European Championship. He himself prefers to talk about five and a half and four and a half, because Thijs van Dam can handle both lines. “It doesn’t hurt that we have a little more manpower up front. We will be playing five top matches, where we have to keep good energy in putting pressure.’

Maybe it sounds crazy, but I actually think that Floris Middendorp should go to the European Championship Jeroen Delmée

The possible fifth midfielder would have been Floris Middendorp. ‘Maybe it sounds crazy, but I actually think he should come along’, says Delmée. But there’s no room for him. I regret that. Floris is developing strongly, but the European Championship comes just too soon for him. He definitely belongs in Orange, but I have to make choices. What’s best for the team, the number of strikers, the flexibility in the lines. Because of those choices, he won’t come along.’

Floris Middendorp. Photo: David Ramírez Rodríguez
Floris Middendorp. Photo: David Ramírez Rodríguez

Snapshots and an open selection

Middendorp has been designated as a reserve as a midfielder, just like Boris Burkhardt (for the attack), Jasper Brinkman (for the wings in the back) and Teun Beins (for the place in the center of the back). That foursome will continue to train until the European Championships. Delmée emphasizes that everything is a snapshot. This is an open selection. We have been working with this group for less than two years. With a whole Pro League season and a possible Olympic qualifying tournament ahead of us, there are still plenty of opportunities to show yourself.’

The only choice Delmée still has to make is to appoint a second keeper. It was already clear that Maurits Visser will defend the Orange goal at the European Championship. Whoever comes along as the second closing post, the national coach will let depend on Pirmin Blaak’s private situation. He will be a father in the coming weeks. If that happens sooner than expected, Blaak will come along to Mönchengladbach. If that is not the case, then it is Derk Meijer who comes along as second choice.

“We are going to the European Championship to defend our title,” the national coach emphasizes. ‘Competition is fierce, with so many top countries. But we’re definitely going there to win.’

by Hockey.nl

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