A notable absentee in his selection is the formidable Den Bosch striker Lidewij Welten whom he asserted has not been up to standard this season, hence her omission, but as ever positive, Max has not entirely written her off and she has been told by him which areas she needs to work on to get back on board and he has every confidence she will be back.
Caldas also announced his training group with an eye on the European Championships with four new players added - Kiki Collot d'Escury, Rose Drost, Jacky Schoenaker and Marlies Verbruggen.
Caldas has struggled with injuries in the national squad Charlotte Vega and the outstanding Naomi van As both injured but alos with the outstanding international Sophie Polkamp having announced her immediate retirement from international hockey ( and looking now to finish her studies at Amsterdam University in Fashion and Branding and see what there is for her beyond the game .)
Caldas=Mr upbeat !
Yet Caldas is upbeat- the sheer competitiveness of Hoofdklasse league hockey, probably the toughest, most professional national league in the world gives him such depth of talent to pick from and that also means that his current selection includes a number of U21s who have shone for their clubs this season and whom we will see help contest the semis in Rotterdam in the famous orange shirts. Sadly an exhausted Merel de Blaeij is also suffering from a loss of form and is not included but is of course being looked after and will no doubt be back when she is ready.
In the lead up the World League semis to be held soon at HC Rotterdam, the Dutch squad, with its newbie juniors on board, dispensed with the ever improving Belgians 2-0 but then absolutely destroyed the current world ranked fifth ( one “behind” England) Germany 10-2 and now face the Australian women the third exhibition game which should be a cracker and well, your money would be on the Orange shirts.
Against the always impressive Germans newly crowned Dutch league champions Amsterdam Dames’s Kelly Jonker and Ellen Hoog buried the ball in the German net for starters followed by Marloes Keetels, Sabine Mol, Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel, Malou Pheninckx, evergreen Kim Lammers and then Asterdam stawarat Kitty Male all scored. The reigning Olympic champion had led 7-1 at half time !
In the World League semis the Germans have Belgium , New Zealand and India and the Dutch are grouped with South Korea , Chile and Japan. You would think at these heady heights we ought to see a final between the Hockeyroos and the Dutch women and well, it would be quite a surprise if the women from down under could live with Caldas’s women on present form .
The major goal of the Dutch national team is the World Cup which takes place in 2014 in The Hague. The first three countries in the semi-finals of the Hockey World League will qualify for the World Cup. The Netherlands are already assured of participation as host country but still looking for a first four finish in Rotterdam, because the Dutch would then be automatically advancing to the final of the hockdey World League to be played in November in Argentina.
Caldas is clearly looking always for fresh blood and for that he has a depth of talent from Hoofdklasse hockey to draw upon . A prominent name in the selection is newcomer Valerie Magis, who plays at Orange Black. "Valerie has done awfully well in recent times. She has become incredibly good. When Naomi van As took her long term injury we know she is going to be out of the game for some time , it was clear that Vali was a definite for my top group despite her tender years. She - like Frederique Derkx – will make the step up from the Juniors for us.” A confident Caldas chirped.
The other outstanding junior players in Caldas’s selection for Rotterdam , Xan de Waard, Maria Verschoor and Marloes Keetels will take time out after the World League with the team coach Raoul Ehren to prepare for the World Cup as under 21s, 27 July to 4 August Monchengladbach. Caldas wants the World League semis to give them the 'taste' of a major tournament with the national team” Caldas explains . Without doubt , Joyce Sombroek is currently Holland’s best keeper and Caldas has yet to decide who will be her sub, and look’s like another youngster , Larissa Meijer is the obvious understudy.
Max’s pick is as follows:-
Frederique Derkx (2) OZ Orange Zwart
Carlien Dirkse an den Heuvel (9) SCHC
Margot van Geffen (30) DB Den Bosch
Eva de Goede (24) Am ( Amsterdam)
Ellen Hoog (19) Am
Kelly Jonkers (10) Am
Marloes Keetels (3) DB
Kim Lammers (23) Laren
Caia van Maasakker (13) SCHC
Valerie Magis (31) OZ
Kitty van Male ( 4) Am
Larissa Meijer (22) Keeper OZ
Sabine Mol (15) DB
Maartje Paumen (17) Captain DB
Malou Pheninickx (5) Kampong
Joyce Sombroek (1) Laren
Maria Verschoor (27) Am
Xan de Waard (32) Kampong
FIH Schedule for the semis in Rotterdam here Word League Holland 2013
See you there ? I have FIH media accreditation on behalf of Women Sport Report – check out my blog for further details and images of the venue and other useful stuff like how to get there and tickets World League HC Rotterdam
Can't get to holland then make it for London this month- Investec World League semis information here London Calling
(Report from the original Dutch from sources KHNB Hockey.nl website & the independent hoofdklassehockey.nl website ,translated and augnmented by John Coxon )
photos Janos Schmidt