Sunday, December 3, 2023

Captain Thomas Briels misses out on Belgium’s Olympic squad

The competition for places in the Red Lions hockey squad saw captain Thomas Briels miss out on Olympic selection on Thursday.

Briels, with over 350 caps for the current world champions, was hoping for automatic selection in his fourth Olympic Games.

But the 33-year-old was announced as a reserve in coach Shane Macleod’s 16-strong squad which will travel next month.

There were hints that Briels could be left out after not playing against hosts Holland in last month’s EuroHockey semi-final.

With Macleod left to decide on two players to omit after taking an 18-man squad to Amsterdam, it was understood that Briels and Sebastien Dockier were vying for the final attacker position.

Belgium, who recently dropped a place to world No 2, will be one of the favourites for gold in Tokyo after winning the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 Euros.

Meanwhile, Hockey Belgium wished Marc Coudron well after he left his position as chairman following a 16-year tenure.

Under his chairmanship, Coudron grew active players from 15,000 to more than 53,000 in 103 clubs, compared to about 60 in 2005, as well as increasing sponsorship from €200,000 to over €2.1 million.

Belgium Red Lions squad

Boccard Gauthier, Gauthier Boccard, Tom Boon, Cédric Charlier, Nicolas De Kerpel, Arthur de Sloover, Félix Denayer, Sébastien Dockier, John-John Dohmen, Simon Gougnard, Alexander Hendrickx, Antoine Kina, Loïck Luypaert, Florent Van Aubel, Arthur Van Doren, Vincent Vanasch, Victor Wegnez.
Reserves: Thomas Briels, Augustin Meurmans, Loïc Van Doren

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