With solely 2 months left earlier than the kick-off of the following World Cup, the Purple Lions start their 4th season of the world competitors, in Argentina, with one and solely goal: to work tirelessly and handle the small print. to win the gold medal in India subsequent January.Article reserved for subscribers
As anticipated, the journey to Mendoza was grueling for the organizations. 30 hours to succeed in the Cuyo area, on the foot of the Andes, not removed from the Chilean border. An actual journey which can, happily, be worthwhile because the Belgian gamers will play 4 matches in 6 days because of the brand new components of the Professional League which, for this 4th season, can be performed in blocks, with 3 groups current for 1 week in a similar metropolis. A world match in deficit since its launch (some media point out cumulative losses of three million euros since 2019) and for which the FIH remains to be looking for the perfect components to persuade the supporters but additionally the gamers and the federations. Completed subsequently the closed league, the World Federation established a precept of rise and relegation,
Organizational issues that hardly curiosity Michel van den Heuvel, the coach of the Purple Lions who focuses solely on the sporting facets or the efficiency of his group. “I feel that first assembly was fairly nicely deliberate within the calendar. It should permit us to play 4 high-level matches in opposition to two high quality opponents. And the truth that the setting of those conferences is just not the obvious can also be an excellent train for the group. Nonetheless, I don’t perceive how Argentina is allowed to host these conferences in Mendoza when this metropolis stays tough to entry. However hey, now we have to just accept it and even when the circumstances usually are not very best, we should handle it. »
The very best tactical and psychological steadiness
With a bunch of twenty-two gamers (through which there are nonetheless 2 younger hopefuls, Arno Van Dessel and Maxime Van Oost), the Purple Lions will proceed, in Argentina, the substantive work began final September. Dealing with the host nation (08 and 11/11) and Germany (06 and 09/11), additionally in pool B, in India, the Belgian gamers will actually be capable of check themselves in opposition to groups which must also play main roles on the subsequent World Cup (January 13 to 29). For weeks, the workload imposed has marked the organizations. An uncompromising involvement and an funding that enchants the nationwide coach. “I’m clearly proud of the present stage. In contrast to final yr and the post-Olympic season, I really feel a focus and complete involvement. Consideration, this doesn’t imply that we didn’t prepare nicely throughout all this era. However the expectation of the following deadlines has made it attainable to set the bar even greater. The Olympic gold medal in Tokyo clearly modified every little thing. That is an journey and an expertise that my gamers can depend on to construct the long run. I’ve a gifted staff that is aware of its wants higher than anybody. »
This South American stage may also permit the workers (together with Shane McLeod who joined the group in South America) to refine the final selections for his future choice even when Michel van den Heuvel doesn’t want to rush. “I’ll solely make a remaining selection when I’ve all of the helpful data for me and for the workers. It’s a posh course of and you must preserve everybody concerned in case of harm. We should not overlook that this system will proceed after the World Cup with the Euro after which the Paris Video games. We should proceed to work making ready for the long run. We should supply prospects to all core gamers. After all, there are particular parts which might be important. However to area a aggressive staff, you need to above all have the very best tactical and psychological steadiness. We’ll play one other 12 matches earlier than the beginning of the world match in Bhubaneswar. I would like each day confirmations and there’s no level in dashing. »
The outcomes achieved in Mendoza will subsequently not be the principle factor. The Purple Lions have set particular objectives as a part of their growth and so they have prioritized sure facets for the following few days. As a result of it’s in India that they should attain their peak of type as a result of they are going to be anticipated on the flip by their opponents who clearly don’t intend to allow them to obtain the double at this subsequent World Cup.