Rick Mathijssen and Raoul Ehren were the two top candidates to become the new national team coach of the Dutch national team, but one extended his contract with Bloemendaal and the other with the Belgian federation. What options are left now?
Due to the disappearance of the two biggest candidates to succeed interim coach Jamilon Mülders after the world championship, there will undoubtedly be a lot of speculation in the coming period about who it should be. We are going to participate in that in this article. Especially because filling the vacancy does not seem easy.
One of the few Dutch coaches who has been active in international women’s hockey in recent years is former international and former SCHC coach Janneke Schopman. She has sufficient international baggage, but will be the national coach of India until the Olympic Games in Paris.
“At the moment it is a non-issue, the KNHB has not contacted me,” says Schopman when asked whether she is open to being national coach of the Dutch national team, with which she does keep the door ajar.
Who may come into the picture when the hockey association wants to fall back on a former national coach: Marc Lammers. Lammers was national coach of the Orange Women for eight years, who under his leadership became world champions in 2006 and took Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008. From 2012 to 2014 he led the Belgian men’s team. In recent years, he has mainly been active in business as a speaker and coach. Some time ago he made his comeback in hockey as assistant coach of the men of Den Bosch.
Lammers’ ambitions to make a comeback as head coach are well known. A while ago, however, he expressed his preference for men’s hockey at Ziggo Sport. Moreover, he hasn’t done anything in women’s hockey since 2008 – for a very long time. If he is open to a return as national coach, it seems wise to put someone with recent experience in women’s hockey next to him. Perhaps former international Kim Lammers – no relatives -, currently an assistant at Amsterdam?
Dijkstra, Boomgaardt, Paumen, Mülders?
Someone else who might come into the picture: Marieke Dijkstra. Dijkstra has the advantage that she is known as a hall coach at the KNHB, but has only been at the helm of Den Bosch since this season and has yet to win her first main prize with the Bosschenaren.
Other interesting names: Ageeth Boomgaardt and Maartje Paumen. The two former internationals have been a close coaching duo for several years now. With Tilburg they are currently on course for promotion to the Dutch big league and in the first aborted corona season they were also at the top with their previous club MOP.
Should the KNHB prefer to look within its own organization: Erik van Driel perhaps? The HDM men’s coach has been added to the staff of the Dutch women’s team until the World Cup, as an assistant national coach. Until recently, he was the national coach of the Dutch Junior Women. In the past, Alyson Annan also made the switch to the Dutch national team as national coach of the Young Orange, but at that time she had of course already become national champion with the women of Amsterdam. That does not apply to Van Driel, who has no experience at all as a club coach at the top.
Or will it just be Jamilon Mülders? It may not be his ambition to remain national coach after the World Cup, but when he was appointed on a temporary basis in February, he said that he would not be available as national coach until the World Cup . He came back to that too.
A possible outcome for the hockey association could also be to take a look across the border and seek refuge in a foreign national coach, but the candidates are not readily available there either. Partly due to the unprecedented success of the Dutch national team led by Annan, there are few, if any, national coaches in international women’s hockey with appealing titles on their resume. The choice for a new national coach can therefore just end up in a pretty difficult puzzle for the hockey association.