Good start under new hockey coach Delmy: “But there is still a lot of work to do”

Dennis Warmerdam (13), one of this week’s newcomers, scored the 2-0 goal in Sunday’s game against Belgium.ANP . image

“I’m satisfied, but I’m not happy,” said Delmy. “The biggest danger now is the belief that we are already there. There is still a lot of work to do. What is good now will not be good enough in the World Cup more than a year ago. The level must be raised.

In the run-up to the double match with Belgium, Dilmy stated last week that he had no idea where his team was. Friday’s draw (which the Netherlands won in part thanks to strong goalkeeper Moritz Visser after a penalty shootout) and Sunday’s win gave Dutch hockey players some color on the cheeks. “Of course it was exciting for everyone. For the players, but also for me,” Delmy said. “You don’t want to throw Belgium 5-0. These two games give us confidence, and we can build on that.”

Dilmy, who has succeeded Max Caldas as national coach since September 1, wants to use the coming months to tally up the state of Dutch men’s hockey. A training date in Spain and a series of Pro League matches have been scheduled for January and February. As of June, the national coach wants to build a team with a goal for the Hockey World Cup at the start of 2023 in India. A year and a half later, the Paris Olympics are approaching.


With a largely renewed squad and staff, Dilmy started preparing for the Pro League matches against Belgium two months ago. The Dutch squad of 23 players includes no fewer than fourteen new names compared to the team that has already lost in the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games.

Five hockey players decided to stop playing internationally after Tokyo: Billy Packer, Mink van der Werden, Glenn Schuurmann, Roel Buvendert and Mirko Pruizer. Moreover, four players are still considering their future: Seif van As, Robert Kimbermann, Jeroen Hertzberger and Sander de Wine.

When composing his selection, Dilmy looked beyond technically trained hockey players who could play six men. Speed ​​and personality are key attributes of the former 401-time international. Delmy thinks that it is just as important what players do besides letting go of the ball. “In contemporary hockey, you as a striker also have to beat, chase and defend balls,” the Brabant coach said on Sunday afternoon after the 2-1 win over Belgium.

Strikers with figures like Gili Galema, Dennis Warmerdam and Queen Begin asserted themselves last weekend by making many dirty metres. Clarifying what Delmy expects from his avant-garde players, was an action by Bijen in his own half. After a quick sprint back, he managed to get the ball to the sidelines and quickly launched a counterattack that resulted in a huge opportunity. Did not result in a goal, but a great compliment from his coach.

Bad Ball Assumptions

Certainly not everything went smoothly in the two matches against the Belgians, who are coached by Dutchman Michel van den Heuvel. Dilmy must have struggled every now and then on an empty Wagner stadium with sloppy passes and poor ball assumptions, which are his hobby horses. It was also clear that with so many newcomers there was a lack of automation.

At least nine players appeared in the Dutch national team last weekend. The most special story was undoubtedly that of Dennis Warmerdam. This weekend, exactly four years ago, a rare tumor was discovered on his forearm in the Pinocchie striker. At first it looked like his arm should be amputated. In May 2018, an arm salvage operation was performed, with the potential for certain jobs to be lost. Miraculously, the operation went very well and a year later Warmerdam was back on the hockey field.

Warmerdam, now 27, made his debut on Friday and scored his first goal two days later. “Unbelievable, that’s indescribable,” Warmerdam said with a big smile. “To be your debutant first and to score today too… A real dream. A few years ago, getting the Dutch national team was too far away for me and now here I am. Nobody can take that from me anymore.

In his second international match, Warmerdam, with a pass from newcomer Tim Swain, scored 2-0 after five minutes of play. The Netherlands had already advanced in the third minute with a goal scored by Thies Van Dam. Belgian penalty kick specialist Alexander Hendricks made 2-1 shortly before the end of the first half. In the second half, the fighting Netherlands survived without major problems.

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