Penalty corner specialist Taeke Taekema has been left out of the Dutch selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games hockey tournament.
Coach Paul van Ass said Taekema, equal top scorer at the 2010 World Cup and veteran of the Beijing and Athens Olympics, did not fit into the Dutch game plan.
“Our attacking style of play creates large spaces behind the midfield. Defenders must be able to cover that large area and that is not Taeke’s specialty, ” he said of the 32-year-old (translated from the Dutch).
“Of course he has his penalty corner with a big gun in the house, but I think the corners of [Roderick] Weusthof and [Mink] Van der Weerden are at least as strong,” Van Ass told Hockey.nl
The decision didn’t go down too well by all accounts.
“I just talked to him Sunday. The anger is great,” Van Ass continued.
Taekema’s wife Rachel Taekema, sister of GB Olympic hockey captain Kate Walsh, said on Twitter: “Still in total shock!! This is not how you treat people… Being publicly messed around and s#%t on is appalling.. No class and no clue!!” (@racheltaekema)
The other surprise omission from the Netherlands selection is another Beijing Olympian Jeroen Hertzberger. With the inclusion of forward Roderick Weusthof, another excellent corner flicker, and veteran Teun de Nooijer, Van Ass said there were few places left in the forward line. He descibed the leaving out of the 26-year-old Rotterdam player as “incredibly sad.”
The selection of three-time world player of the year De Nooijer had been in doubt as he recoverd from an achilles tendon problem. But the 36-year-old came through two practice games against GB at Olympic Park last week and presumably convinced Van Ass of his fitness.
The 2012 Games will be De Nooijer’s fifth Olympics, a record he will share in London with Spain’s Pol Amat and Germany’s Natascha Keller.
Netherland’s men hockey selection for London 2012: Sander Baart (OZ), Billy Bakker (Amsterdam), Marcel Bar Stein (OZ), Floris Evers (Amsterdam), Rogier Hofman (Bloemendaal), Robert van der Horst (Rotterdam), Wouter Jolie (Bloemendaal), Robbert Kemperman ( Rot-Weis Köln), Teun de Nooijer (NED), Jaap Stockmann [GK] (Bloemendaal), Valentin Verga (Amsterdam), Klaas Vermeulen (Amsterdam), Bob de Voogd (OZ), Mink van der Weerden (OZ), Roderick Weusthof (Rotterdam), Sander Wine (Kampong)