Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Mink van der Weerden retires as Jeroen Delmee reveals fresh start

Mink van der Weerden has retired from international hockey as new Oranje men’s coach Jeroen Delmee heralded a “fresh and new start” for the Dutch on Wednesday.

Delmee, who accrued over 400 caps and two Olympic golds and took over from Max Caldas after Tokyo 2020, revealed that Van der Weerden, 33 next month, Glenn Schuurman and Roel Bovendeert had stood down from the national programme.

Meanwhile Robbert Kemperman, Sander de Wijn, Mirco Pruyser, Jeroen Hertzberger and Seve van Ass are not included in Delmee’s first training squad ahead of Pro League matches next month as they take further time out from the international scene.

Van der Weerden, the defender and PC specialist, scored 115 goals in 191 matches for the Netherlands and follows captain Billy Bakker into retirement.

The Dutch fell short again at the Olympics PIC: BELGA PHOTO | DIRK WAEM

Delmee’s first squad had a focus on Paris 2024 as he looks to finally land team Olympic gold for the Dutch for the first time since 2000.

“We are looking for players who want to make the commitment to Paris,” he told a press conference on Wednesday. The Dutch next play Olympic champs Belgium at the end of November in a Pro League double header.

Meanwhile Bjorn Kellerman has decided to end his international career to focus on his business. He was left out of Caldas’ squad for Tokyo 2020.

He hinted to Dutch media of a fall out with the Argentinian. “I had hoped that the changing of the guard had been earlier,” he said. “Unfortunately, it did not work out that way. But it is fine for me now, I am 31. Efforts are getting harder.”

In all, there are six players picked from HC Bloemendaal in Delmee’s first men’s squad.

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