The “Bossche Pitbulls” are looking forward to being the first Dutch representative in the ABN AMRO EHL U14 Girls following their playoff win over AH&BC Amsterdam last week.
The competition will make its debut next Easter as part of the Euro Hockey League FINAL8 festival. EHL Women will be introduced at that event with the U14 female equivalent also joining the party.
It will feature one club team from each of the top six nations on the EHL Women’s ranking list. Each of those nations can nominate their entrant in their own way with the Dutch representative decided by this playoff.
They won that 4-1 with two goals each from Jill Tebak and Maud van Rooij. Amsterdam started the stronger, created the first chances and managed to win a corner which Den Bosch defended well.
Den Bosch grew stronger and were able to put more pressure on which resulted in some shots and penalty corners. The second pc was struck home via a hit from Jill Tebak.
They took that confidence into the second half and took advantage thanks to an amazing pass by defender Lizzy Bontekoe straight through to Maud van Rooij. She was through one-on-one and got by the goalie for 2-0.
Another penalty corner by van Rooij in Q3 and backhand shot by Jill Tebak in Q4 were also successful as Den Bosch were able to see out the game with their game plan working perfectly.
Amsterdam did have a strong midfield performance which was kept quiet until they scored a late goal but the EHL ticket.
For coach Dilja Holewijn, it brought to fruition their special plans to get the side to peak for this qualifier.
“We adjusted our weekly program,” she told the EHL website. “Normally the girls train three times during the week and play a match on Saturday. Because we still had to play a league game the day before, we decided to train two times plus a video meeting (which we do regularly) so their physical load would stay the same.
“Also, we brought a U12 player with us on the Saturday so I could give every player extra minutes of rest. We maintain for all the players an even interchange schedule throughout every match.
“This way, the squad was able to play another match 24 hours later on the Sunday at HGC. Besides this plan, we find it important to teach them about nutrition and rest to help getting their bodies prepared for a maximum performance. Earlier in the season we had presentations about this so now we just had to remind them how to cope during this weekend.”
As for the players reaction, the voices came: “This was so cool!” “Qualifying feels better than the fall league championship!” “Bossche Pitbulls are going the EHL!”
“But mostly they could only scream!” coach Holewijn added and is now looking to hopefully adding the EHL U14 title to the club’s success in the last two seasons of the EuroHockey Club Champions U14 competition.
“The last two editions of the EHCC U14 we won the title; these girls will never forget about those extra tournaments. When we heard about the new format and qualification match, we were very excited to participate again. It was so much fun already that I cannot wait to be playing in the EHL!”
Den Bosch JC1 squad: Laurette Abelen (GK), Luna van der Veer, Maud van Rooij, Marijn de Raad, Hannah Mulders, Jip Marijne, Mille Helmer, Madelief Grandjean, Femmetje Jonckers, Madelief de Groot, Kira Lubbers, Simone Braaksma, Isabel Ewalds, Jill Tebak, Lizzy Bontekoe