‘The outside world does not need to know what I did’

Frédérique Matla played in his 92nd international match against the United States on Saturday. She wore the captain’s armor for the first time. With red-white-blue on his right leg, he led the Orange women to a 3-0 victory.

“It didn’t bother me, I can say I don’t value it much, but being the Orange captain today is special,” Madla admitted after the Pro League match. I’m proud of that, ”she added with a smile.

She was the first to enter the Wagoner Grounds, where three thousand people had gathered at six o’clock on Saturday evening, with the same smile. It was already new to her. “Usually I’m always the last in line.” Add with a blink of an eye: ‘From now on I can do it in all walks, haha.’

Matla was wearing the captain’s armband on Saturday as captain Eva de Cote was ruled out for a long time due to a knee injury. Matla: ‘Now we see everything that happened. Including the rank of captain. Today is my turn, tomorrow’s someone else’s turn (Pien Sanders, ed.). Whether I wear pants or not is up to me. I think that’s important for the team at this point. ‘


‘This stage’ is the period that began after winning the Olympics last year, an international team that has pointed out to the Hockey Association that the performance of the Orange women is undesirable and insecure by culture. The union intervened and ordered an independent inquiry.

Captain Frederick Matla played in action during the Pro League against the United States. Photo: Goyan Suiko

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The results of that investigation came out in a scathing statement last week, which made it clear that a lot of mistakes had been made in the past. A ‘blind spot’ has arisen for the well-being of the players as the ambitions and aspirations for success within the team have been very high in recent years. One result is that relationship and emotional struggles and mental health issues go unnoticed within the team. National coach Alison Annan ” players and staff began to show changed behavior due to cultural characteristics, selection pressure, sports ambition and fear of hurtful / vague interactions. ‘


The results of the investigation were discussed with the players last week. “I think the report is informative,” Madla says. ‘It is gratifying to have written what happened in black and white. The statement is more general, however it reflects the burden behind us. We know what is going on, but those examples are not given.

Madla appreciates the orange goal. Photo: Goyan Suiko

Those examples are not in the report and the Orange International also has a low profile in interviews. Madla explains: ‘People are really hurt. Then we go back many years to the most recent times. The moment we start giving examples, it becomes personal and so to the victims, even if they are not named, they all come back. We want to protect them from that. ‘

Can you choose to share your experiences?
‘I also agree that I have exhibited modified behavior. But I don’t need to put my role in the process on the table. I want to keep that feeling to myself and not share it. The outside world does not need to know what I did. If other players need it, they should. I think no one would do that. And need to protect themselves. Very soon for that now. Maybe in the long run there will be room for players who can do it. ‘

Do you feel authorized by the statement?
‘It’s a little recognition. But it is not enough for us to use the word confession alone. As a team, as an employee and as an association, we all take a critical look in the mirror, what did we miss, what did we do wrong? That fact must be taken into account. “

Matla: ‘I admit that I exhibited changed behavior. But I don’t need to put my role in the process on the table. ‘ Photo: Goyan Suiko

How hard is it to focus on hockey with so many dangers?
“We’ve been talking a lot lately. But the World Cup is coming too, which means we have to look at hockey step by step. At some point we do more than others. Last week we said after Wednesday: We are going to play hockey. And if something happens, let’s talk about it. We need to look for balance in the future. Let’s leave the rest and see when we can focus fully on hockey. But we haven’t gotten there yet.

You ‘only’ won 3-0 against the United States today, you did not score. Did you enjoy playing today?
“Today the result and the score played a small role. I enjoyed being on the field with my teammates and wearing pants. All in all it was a beautiful evening. ‘

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