After winning the European Championship final against Belgium (3-1) in Mönchengladbach, national coach Paul van As is back in the buzz this week. “When I get a question, I answer it honestly.”
Statements made by national team coach Paul van As earlier in the week have put the European Championships finalist under intense pressure in recent days. He counted on Germany to be the opponent in the final instead of Belgium. He said that the media write about Belgium. “Their game picture against us is always the same: hold back for a long time. That’s all they do.” Van As also said that after the 2-0 win over Belgium in the group stage, he didn’t like the Red Panthers and wasn’t afraid of them in the final. Against us in the final, it will be 2-0 to us again.”
His honesty is unusual in women’s hockey. Van Ass takes an independent stance. He says what he thinks. But his statements fueled the fire in the Belgian national team. “The Dutch are an arrogant people,” said international Alex Gernier. Captain Barbara Neelen: I’m sorry he says such things. Stephanie Vanden Bure: Those are his words. Words that we Belgians will never use. I will never speak negatively or badly about my opponent.
I have absolutely nothing against these guys. But let’s be honest: this wasn’t an exciting final, was it? Paul Van As
Van As responded to the uproar following the European Championship final: “I don’t regret it.” When I ask a question, I answer it honestly. Can I say what I think? I think it’s a shame for the sport that they play hockey so defensively against us. Moreover: the only thing I said is that I still have to see it with these Belgians. I have absolutely nothing against these guys. But let’s be honest: this wasn’t an exciting final, was it?
The national coach of the Netherlands national team saw a number of Orange internationals not reach their highest level in a European Championship final. “We played very dirty. But It takes two to tango.’ He concluded that the Netherlands had never had problems. “When we were 3-1 up, those Belgians didn’t do anything. I was hoping they’d attack. If you’re 3-1 down, you’ll take off your gloves and go boxing, right? We wanted to box. We were ready for that. But then they just haven’t come yet.” “It wasn’t exciting at all. I’m really sorry about that. My gym heart is tired.”
England is still far behind us, isn’t it? Or may I not say that? Will I put that English language on my roof again? Paul Van As
The Dutch played in Mönchengladbach with three debuts in the tournament. At this European Championship, there were three nations that had more capped squads than the Netherlands. However, the Orangemen faced little opposition, Van As concluded, as his team beat England in the semi-finals by clear numbers: 7-0. England is in the top four in Europe. But England is still far behind us, isn’t it? Or may I not say that? Will I put that English language on my roof again?
Argentina and Australia
Van As craves competition. He has pinned his hopes on Argentina and Australia. “After Gil Aimar, Argentina settled into second place in the world. Very handsome. Last season they won the Pro League. We beat Australia in the Pro League 7-2, but a few days later we drew with them. They are fighting a battle with us. If we snore against Australia , we take off.
What pleases Van As is the fact that his players are having a good time. When Van As took over a year ago, Van As’s main task was to continue building on the safe sporting climate created by his predecessor, Jamilon Mölders. “I feel the culture is fair and open. The journey we took with the group is more beautiful than a medal. That journey is priceless to me.
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