Jeroen Delme is not at all happy with the Pro League matches Dutch hockey men have to play this week. It is a major setback for the national coach, who wanted to optimally prepare his team for the World Cup in January.
The Dutch Pro League starts tonight in Argentina. And after the tournament, the team must quickly go to India for the World Cup. “It means we have to get over the nine-hour time difference,” explains Dilmi. “I want to do my own preparation for the World Cup.”
Dailami, the national team coach, is angry: “I want to prepare myself.”
Pro League matches are FIH mandatory. Many countries take the tournament very seriously, because the winner gets an Olympic ticket. “We already have another tournament in Spain, and I prefer it. But you have to participate.”
Delmi is also angry about the temperatures in Argentina. “It’s springtime and it’s already 38 degrees. So I’m afraid we’ll play games in debilitating conditions. Then four games in five days.”
Dilmi ends with some sarcasm: “I like it very much, but nothing has been done about it.”
The Netherlands will play their first professional league game tonight (Netherlands time 01:40) against Great Britain. The World Cup kicks off on January 13 in Bhubaneswar and Rockela, India.
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