By The Hockey Paper
Dutch coach Alyson Annan has admitted to a tough day watching Holland defend their World Cup title at the weekend.
Annan’s brother died of a heart attack at the age of 39, seven years to the day that she oversaw victory with the Dutch women’s team in London.
On the morning of the match, Annan posted a message on Facebook: “Great dear brother. Seven years ago. I miss and love you so much.”
After Holland’s 6-0 victory over Ireland, she said: “It wasn’t the easiest day. I looked up a few times. I tried to squeeze it all day.
“I sat alone for a few moments. You want him to be there. If I’m very honest and I can exchange one for the other, I’ll trade this world title for my brother.”
Victory was Annan’s third world title after winning hockey’s showpiece as a player with the Hockeyroos in 1994 and 1998.
Adding of her late brother, she told reporters: “He would be proud of me. He made me who I am. I used to play against him for hours. One against one. He was a good hockey player. He was always hard, but had a big heart. He was a sweet man.”
Annan was confident her team would add the London title to their 2014 victory in The Hague.
“I knew in advance that if we would play good hockey, we could win big, but you still have to make it happen”, Annan said.
“It feels like a well deserved victory, and we have shown the best hockey from all the countries that compete, and we are simply the best.”
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