The Red Lions will return to action this weekend for the first time since their Olympic title in Tokyo. They then played 2 times in the Pro League against Germany. Sforza visited training and found new coach Michael van den Hueval to be more hungry. Only Thomas Briels is out, and the rest continue.
Van den Howell is the heir apparent to Shane McLeod, who is taking chapatis in New Zealand. Since he has been McLeod’s assistant since 2015, the team is not new to him. “I’m in healthy tension. I’m not nervous here. I enjoy being here and want to bring those matches to a good end.”
He doesn’t care about heavy inheritance. “I don’t see it that way. It’s a great team. I’m glad to work.”
“The biggest challenge is to continue the results and performance we have provided.”
“We need to update the existing team with new skills. We need to continue to build so that Belgium is no longer neglected in the top 4 places in the world,” it seems ambitious.
Van Abel: “I struggled to keep going, but the answer was yes”
The Red Lions are world and Olympic champions and already European champions. So they have won everything they need to win. However, the hunger to continue is still high.
“Why should we stop?”, Alexander Hendrix raises. “We have a good team and we add wins. It gives you the option to play in every tournament and go to the top. You have tasted that gold and want to continue to taste it.”
Ancient Felix Denier agrees: “Going up is one thing, being next is going up. We have to keep innovating, otherwise other teams will catch up with us.”
Florent von Abel: “Restart is great for the Red Lions. We have reached the highest point in our lives. I have struggled with the question of whether I can continue to Paris. But the answer is clearly yes.”
“All the other teams want the same thing now. We know it has to beat Belgium. That’s why we have to continue at our level and start all over again with a big team.”
The coach sees it a little differently: “Hunger needs to be even better. They feel inwardly that they can do it. Based on that healthy work environment, we can form a better team.”
(Read under photo)
“Youth should be given opportunities, but it should be based on qualities”
The following goals for Van den Howell and Co. World Hockey Championship to be held in India in 1.5 years and Games to be held in Paris 2024. “World-class players want us to be even more motivated and pursue,” the coach says.
“I think it’s important for this level to be high, and for the growth of young players to join. Thomas Priels only decided to stop, but I’m very happy with everyone else who is still motivated.”
“Young people also need to be given the opportunity to show themselves, but you can’t win international competition because you are young.
There are qualities. We currently have 25 people, and that level is very high. “
“The gap between the U21 and the top of the world is huge. Those people really need time to connect. And that step has grown because we were so good.”
See the report in the journal:
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