• New year, new coach, new chances.


    Today Caprara announced the final roster for the olympic qualification tournament:


    Setters: Laura Dijkema and Britt Bongaerts


    Opposite: Lonneke Sloëtjes and Celeste Plak


    Oustide hitters: Floortje Meijners, Anne Buijs, Maret Balkestein-Grothues and Nika Daalderop


    Middle blockers: Robin de Kruijf, Yvon Beliën, Nicole Koolhaas and Juliët Lohuis


    Libero: Myrthe Schoot and Kirsten Knip


    As expected Jasper is cut from the roster.


    Really excited for the upcoming matches, the tension is so high. I hope with all my heart they make it to Tokyo. I'm afraid a lot of players will retire from NT if they don't make it.

  • Interview with Caprara, de Kruijf and Buijs. Dutch players are getting used to Caprara as their head coach. They say he is very relaxed and the atmosphere in the team is really good. Everyone in the team is healthy. He focus especially on attack and is going to play with offensive outside hitters, Meijners and Buijs or Daalderop. The role of Balkestein-Grothues will still be important and she showed high level during the friendly matches against Germany. Next to the power of the oustide hitters, they have good attacking middel blockers with de Kruijf and Beliën. Dijkema for sure will be the starting setter. Caprara wants them to enjoy playing in Holland and that they don't crack under the pressure.


    https://nos.nl/video/2317452-v…ach-superchille-gast.html


    Also an interview with Meijners. She happy to be here and is really motivated. Caprara is one of the reasons she came back, because she had a great time with him in Piacenza and respect him as a person and coach. After finishing her studies and having a son, it was the right time to make the come-back to the national team. Her husband quit playing basketball, so he can be with their son. If they will make it to Tokyo, she will be available the whole summer.

    https://nos.nl/video/2317076-m…ranje-volleybalsters.html

  • First I want to thank all the girls for the last 5 years. They are a very likable team and showed us some great volleyball over the years! They have put volleyball back on the map in the Netherlands:flower:The team belonged to the top of the world, which makes it disappointing that they couldn't keep up the level to go to the olympics:(


    With the world championship in 2022 at home and the fact most players are at the end of their career, it's time to look how the Dutch team will look like in the upcoming years.


    Setters

    Dijkema: Told a newspaper she had 3 possibilities in her head to retire from the national team. This probably were olympics 2020, WCH 2022 or olympics 2024. I hope she isn't going to be called for the NT anymore. She showed over and over agian she is not good enough for the highest level, so it's time for a new setters to develop.

    Bongaerts: She is the setter who should take over and be the main setter from now on. As a setter she is able to play a fast game and she is strong at the net. Her development points are keeping her head cool at difficult moments and technically become better. I also see in her the new captain.

    van Aalen: Especially now there isn't an important tournament in 2020, she should get a chance to develop. She needs a few years to get more mature. I think the German league is perfect for that.


    Opposite

    Sloëtjes: I think Sloëtjes played her last match in the orange jersey yesterday. After the club season ends, she will take a break from volleyball for a year. With her history of injuries, having earned a lot of money the last few years and being a smart women, I think she doesn't need volleyball in her live anymore. But it can go the other way around. After she charged her battery, she can find back the sense to play volleyball again and play the WCH in her home country.

    Plak: Should change her position the opposite, because her receiving skills are to weak. Next to that there aren't good opposite hitters in the near future for the Netherlands.


    Outside hitters

    Balkestein-Grothues: After the match she said she can't tell if this means she will retire from the national team right now. In 2024 she will definitely not play volleyball, maybe beach volleyball. A big loss for the team, because she is the only stable receiver. Hope she will play as libero during WCH 2022 just as Pilon-Stam did.

    Meijners: I expected more from her with all her experience. In yesterdays match when it mattered the most, she contributed nothing. In an interview she couldn't tell if she will continue to play for NT. Knowing her age (32) and she has a child, I think the chance is rather small.

    Buijs: Was devastated after the match, but I have a feeling she will continue to play for the team.

    Daalderop: Netherlands biggest prospect and future for the Dutch national team. She has to improve especially in serve receive and she needs to get more stable. But she is 21, so she has the time to improve.

    M. Jasper: Closest defensive outside hitter we have after Balkestein-Grothues. Hope she will go to a better league than the German, so she can improve. I believe she isn't going to be the same level as Balkestein-Grothues, but if she stabilize her reception, she can be more than useful.

    Meijers: I think she is the same type of player as Daalderop. She is even younger than Daalderop, so still a lot of time to improve. At Chieri she is on the bench most of the times, so she need to find a club where she gets more playing time.

    H. Jasper: Same type of player as her sister. She is a better receiver, but she is really small for an outside, so lots of trouble in attack. If you have another dominant offensive outside hiiter and opposite, she can be really useful. They can play like Serbia and her main purpose is to stabilize the reception.


    Middle blocker:

    de Kruijf: Made several times clear that volleyball isn't the most important for her. So I wouldn't be surprised if she quit playing for the national team. Next to that she had several injuries the last year. I hope she will be back for WCH in 2022, because she still is a world class player. She can learn younger player so much and she is a great fighter and leader.

    Beliën: Will keep playing, because she is just 26.

    Koolhaas: I have a feeling she likes volleyball a lot, so she will play volleyball for a long time.

    Lohuis: Young player with potential. She should fill in the gap that de Kruijf will leave.

    Polder: In Dutch team showed nothing special so far, but is one of the best player in Aachen each week. There are younger prospects than her and Both Beliën en Lohuis will stay for sure, so I'm not sure if she will get a chance to play for the national team at important tournaments.

    Timmerman: Already took over the middle blocker position over Polder last year. Now she has to go to a foreign leaugue to develop further.

    Baijens: Is doing a decent job in France. She played a few matches as opposite last summer. She didn't do a good job, but it's worth a try, knowing there aren't any prospects at that position and at middle blocker there are a few.

    Korevaar: Can learn a lot in Munster and develop to become a better player.


    Libero

    Schoot: She is 32 of age, so likely she will retire soon. She isn't much better than Knip who is younger, so I wouldn't call her anymore for the NT.

    Knip: Made such a bad transfer. Next year she needs to play every match as a starter during club season to improve. In 2017 and 2018 she did a decent job. She needs to get back to that form, so she can be useful for the team.

    Boom/ H. Jasper: No prospects at this position, so maybe one of this outside hitters can change to libero.


    In brief, a lot of chances will come. Maybe some will play at WCH in the Netherlands, but will definitely not play for the olympic cycle.

    For 2019 I will give all starters rest and figure out which players will fight to get a ticket for the olympics in 2024.


    Alberda says he probably wants to keep Caprara. I don't like that. The Dutch team now needs a coach who can develop a younger generation. I don't know who that could be?

  • I read a lot of complains about Dijkema but I want to say that she played phenomenal under Guidetti coaching. Her sets were really great, she always had some solution and was brilliant in defence.
    Meijners - after match Pol-Ned I was surprised that she played whole match while she was IMO she weakest link but Polish players said that she was the most problematic for them and they had to watch her all the time. She tv perspective might be a bit different than the real one ;)

  • I dont know if sacking Morrison before Olympic qualifiers was a good decision. He wasnt the best but he was decent. Caprara did nothing special to the team and stuck with Dijkema just because she plays for Firenze. At least Morrison preferred Bongaerts.

  • I dont know if sacking Morrison before Olympic qualifiers was a good decision. He wasnt the best but he was decent. Caprara did nothing special to the team and stuck with Dijkema just because she plays for Firenze. At least Morrison preferred Bongaerts.

    I feel the same way. I don't like these 'coulda, shoulda, woulda' but Caprara was really stubborn and stuck to his idea of playing with Meijners and Buijs as OHs and having Maret on the bench, God knows why

  • I think one of the reasons they wanted Morrison gone had to do with the way he was training them. In the past 2 seasons was there a Dutch player not injured? And they all develop injuries while with the NT.


    Nika played great in 2017, but then she was injured when she joined her German team.


    Last season Plak, Anne, Louis and Belien were all injured after the WCH and wasted a club season because of that. Sloetjes multiple injuries.

    Djkema even took a half season off, probably she realized she needed time to rest otherwise she would develop a injury too.


    Robin was the only one injured with her club.


    They had a armature coach and pushing them way too hard desperate for results.


    Ze Robert does the same thing, and that's why Brazilian players are injured all the time. Guidetti has been called out Ze Roberto on that.


    Injuries is what destroyed the Dutch team.


    Imagine if after a season with NT Boskovic, Maja, Mihajlovic, Busa and Veljkovic are all injured? You don't have to be a expert to realize something went horribly wrong during training.