The Dutch team started a very ambitious project somewhere in the mid '80s with one goal "the golden medal in Barcelona".
From '88 on, all players where withdrawn from their club teams (Brother Martinus mainly) and trained with the national team only from then on.
Half way, a few players (Posthuma, Zoodsma, Blangé, Grabert) left the national team to join some Italian clubs.
A few months before the '92 Olympics, the Dutch team still had to qualify.
Only the winner could earn a ticket in this qualification tournament in Rotterdam (Ahoy).
I think 5 teams participated (the Dutch, Bulgaria, Poland and 2 others).
All teams played against each other and a subsequent final between the 2 best would decide over the ticket to Barcelona.
Poland beats The Netherlands, but looses to the Bulgarians, while the Dutch beat Bulgaria.
The Netherlands and Bulgaria qualify for the final the because of a better set ratio than Poland.
The final is an absolute thriller, enjoy...
Ned - Bul set 3.divx (273.9 MB) http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WYJCATPQ
Ned - Bul set 4.divx (41.23 MB) http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UUU086C7
Ned - Bul set 5.divx (137.54 MB) http://www.megaupload.com/?d=TLNWSIAL
A few notes:
- Ari Selinger rejoins the Dutch as head coach after an absence of 3 years.
- Posthuma, Zoodsma and Blangé are allowed to play for the Dutch team again, after leaving for Italy a few years before.
- tensions between the dutch rise up to and above the limit (cfr. Held and Blangé-argument after the 3th set), when facing a nightmare scenario in which they even wouldn't be able to qualify for their end-goal after 6 years of hard (underpaid) work.
- this final was probably Kiosev's last game for the Bulgarian National team
- Notice Bulgary's current Head Coach, Martin Stoev.
- I sort of remember the Polish line-up from that tournament (Szysko, Sordyl (Wasilewski partly), Roman, Bartuzi, Stelmach, Urbanowicz) - no video of that match though.
- Anyway, that's how I remember it. Sorry for any possible inconsistencies.