Oss grew into a cupfighter: ‘The cup is very much alive in the group’

Cupfighter. It is a predicate that applies to the lords of Oss. The first-class team can qualify for the semi-finals of the Silver Cup for the fourth time in five years and for the third time in a row on Friday night. But then they have to win against Helmond, also playing in the First Division.

‘Helmond is the favourite. They play at home and have been more stable than us in recent weeks. They also have Bob de Voogd (146 caps and 35 goals, ed.). Yes, he can do some of it. We are not without a chance, but we will have to go the extra mile. It’s going to be tricky. Stunts? No, I think that’s too big a word. In any case, we are very much looking forward to it’, says Marijn Dollevoet.

The 29-year-old captain is a regular face in Oss’ banner team, which has been making a name for itself since the introduction of the Silver Cup in the 2016-2017 season. “The cup is very much alive in the group. It’s a serious price for us.’

Special evenings

‘The cup nights are special evenings’, Dollevoet continues. ‘The atmosphere at the club, a lot of crowds along the line, the line-up, a DJ with goaltunes and fireworks. The pressure that it can end all at once. You don’t experience that in the league. It is the ingredients that motivate extra, that ensure that we go the extra mile. These are the moments that you look back on later and think: this is what you do it for.’

Marijn Dollevoet in action for Oss in the Silver Cup in the 2016-2017 season against Ede. Photo: Willem Vernes

In the first season of the Silver Cup, Oss finished fourth. After elimination in the semifinals, the battle for bronze was also lost. A year later, the eighth finals were the final and in 2019 Oss again reached the last four. Also last year, the team flew out in the semifinals.

The threshold to reach the final of the second cup tournament appears to be too high for the men. The ladies of Oss, on the other hand, won the Silver Cup in 2018. ‘It’s a thing in the team’, Dollevoet confesses. “It’s rubbish. We are always so close to it. Then you want to make it to that final. Jokingly, this year we have set ourselves the goal of reaching the final instead of winning the final.’

Gold Cup

The semi-final places in the Silver Cup give Oss at least for the following season qualification for the Gold Cup, the cup tournament in which the big league clubs also participate.

This season, the later cup winner Den Bosch (7-2) proved too strong in the second round. “Losing to Den Bosch was certainly no disgrace for us. It is also nice that we lost to the later cup winner. That feels a bit different than losing to a team that didn’t make it to the final.’

“In the Gold Cup, we always want to survive the first one,” Dollevoet continues. “We’ll play against transition players. We don’t feel like we have no chance and we are confident that we can win.’

The ultimate dream in the Gold Cup is to meet a big leaguer, as happened to Oss in 2019-2020 (Den Bosch), 2021-2022 (Orange-Red) and therefore in 2022-2023. ‘The fact that we can compete with big league clubs where internationals play is a great experience. Yes, you won’t forget that’, says Dollevoet, who in recent years has fought duels with Jelle Galema, Thomas Briels and Austin Smith, among others.

Scoring against a big leaguer

“But we are under no illusions when we play against a big leaguer. Moreover, we can always enter the Silver Cup afterwards. We try to set ourselves small goals in the games so that we can look back with a good feeling. For example, we agree to get a penalty corner per quarter. Scoring is the ultimate goal and we succeeded against Oranje-Rood and Den Bosch. The last time against Den Bosch even twice.’

Dollevoet talks enthusiastically about Oss’ cup adventures and the upcoming confrontation with Helmond, but also has to admit that the cup fever sometimes comes at the expense of the competition.

“In a cup week like this, we’re more concerned with Friday’s game than Sunday’s. We’ve been hiccuping against the Transition Class for years, but we’re not stable enough. We fail against the little ones. Then we are complacent. Then we think: we’ll take it, so we mainly focus on the Friday games.’


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