Josine Koning was under the bar the entire match in the semi-final against England (7-0 win) . She won the competition with Anne Veenendaal. “I’ve worked really hard for this.”
On Thursday morning, the KNHB announced the decision of national coach Paul van Ass via a press release. A few hours later, the press secretary of Orange at this European Championship, John van Vliet, announced that Veenendaal has indicated that it will not be available to the media in the coming days.
The press release sent contained a short statement from Van Ass , but it did not state why Koning had been chosen. Even after the semi-final win against England – in which the Netherlands ran from 0-0 to 7-0 via a hockey show in the second half – he preferred not to go into too much detail about his decision.
‘Anne is good, but Josine is slightly better. It wouldn’t have been fair if I had given Anne these last two matches. The difference between them is not the difference between a 6 and an 8. It is the difference between a 6.5 and a 9’, Van Ass explained.
Anne is good, but Josine is slightly better National coach Paul van Ass
The national coach stated that the Orange has been working on a number of themes in recent months. According to him, Koning is slightly better than Veenendaal in this respect. He would not say exactly which themes were decisive. ‘We looked at things such as the corner, active goalkeeping and coaching. One is better at this and the other is better at that. We added everything together.’
Does he think King is a better goalkeeper in shoot-outs? ‘Yes. But with Anne we will also win the shoot-outs. She has proven that at Amsterdam. It was a difficult decision. I don’t want to go into too much detail about it.’ Whether this is an advance on his decision for the Paris Olympic Games? No. It’s too early for that.’
It is not the first time that the choice is in favor of King. Alyson Annan took her to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Veenendaal was a reserve there. “Apparently we see the same difference.”
One of the things Koning has been working on is to be more aggressive in goalkeeping. In the semi-final against England, she stormed out of her goal once quickly. “Opponents had to be a little more afraid of me. That’s the main point I worked on.’
This is a great disappointment for Anne. She handles it maturely and professionally. Josephine King
Aggressive goalkeeping was always a plus for Veenendaal compared to Koning. Due to the offensive style of play under Van Ass, Koning forced himself to get better at this. “Under Paul we play much more attacking, which creates more gaps in the back. I am a lineman by nature. But I like being able to participate as a kind of defender more often. To avoid scoring before the shot reaches goal. I really developed myself in that.’
Koning has a warm relationship with Veenendaal. She empathizes with her. This is a big disappointment for her. She handles it maturely and professionally. I think she responded perfectly. For her, it sucks that I noticed. But for me it is of course beautiful.’